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The winter came to Syria with a hurricane and a new wave of hostilities. On December 1, a storm hit refugee camps in the north of the country. The hurricane damaged and destroyed a large number of settlements in Idlib and in the north of Aleppo.
The hurricane is not the only reason of a headache for Syrian militants in Greater Idlib, where a military storm is going really strong. Several recent reports talked about a near ground operation by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies to reinforce the ceasefire in the region.
On November 30, three militants were killed when the SAA shelled a position they were manning in the al-Ghab Plains in the western part of the Greater Idlib region. The army reportedly used its Russian-made 2K25 Krasnopol laser-guided 155 mm artillery round.
The slain militants were Syrian members of the al-Qaeda-affiliated Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP). They were fighting in the terrorist group’s Ansar [Supporters] unit which is dedicated for Syrians only.
The SAA shelling was likely a response to the ceasefire violations which led to casualties in Syrian ranks. In the last few days, two soldiers were allegedly killed in the al-Ghab Plains by sniper fire.
Meanwhile, the SAA, supported by the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS), continues fighting terrorists in Syria’s central regions, and the last month was busy enough for the allies.
In November, the VKS carried out more than 610 airstrikes on ISIS cells and their hideouts in Syria’s central region, while the Syrian army conducted several combing operations in different parts of the region.
The most recently, a new wave of airstrikes targeted hideouts of ISIS cells located near the strategic Ithriyah-Khanasir highway, which links Hama with Aleppo.
While the SAA and Russian forces are doing their job, members of the US-led international coalition are busy revealing their activities in Syria.
The UK has officially claimed responsibility for the October 25 drone strike on northeastern Syria. The remotely piloted [MQ-9] Reaper, armed with Hellfire missiles, reportedly killed Sabahi Ibrahim al-Muslih, also known as “Abu Hamzah al- Shheell”, a cochairman of ISIS Shura Council.
The US also did not stay aside. However, it had no successful operation to reveal. Thus, Washington launched investigation into the murder of dozens of civilians.
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has ordered an investigation into an airstrike in Syria in 2019. According to The New York Times, an American F-15 fighter jet, by order of Task Force 9, dropped a bomb on a crowd of civilians gathering in a field near the settlement of El-Baguz on March 18, 2019. The US military leadership downplayed the strike, which reportedly killed about 80 people.
Despite the growing discontent among the locals, the US-led international coalition continues its reinforcement in northeastern Syria. Over the last few days, dozens of trucks loaded with supplies and military equipment for the US-led coalition entered the country from Iraq.
While civilians are preventing some US convoys from passing through their villages, throwing stones to the vehicles, other US convoys suffer more severe damage. On December 1, a convoy moving logistic supplies to US-led coalition bases came under an IED attack, when it was passing near the town of al-Malikiyah in the northeastern countryside of al-Hasakah. Two trucks reportedly burnt out as a result of the explosion.