Original published by warfiles.ru; translation by J.Hawk
The Syria ceasefire is being observed only where all sides are so exhausted by the previous fighting that they need even a small pause. Moreover, there are also pragmatic leaders among various tribes and clans who understand that continued fighting could read to their complete destruction and who signed the corresponding ceasefire documents and who intend to pursue political power by peaceful means.
However, that state of affairs is not universal. Much of the country’s territory is held by groupings which are outlawed in many countries and which are not covered by the ceasefire, even if they actually wanted to observe it. The recent terrorist attack against a powerplant cluster which left all of Syria temporarily without electricity was a confirmation of that fact.
Units of the SDF democratic opposition which stopped their offensive in order to obtain a short rest and repel ISIS attacks resumed their pressure against terrorist forces in western Khasaki, liberating 35 sq.km. of territory. The enemy was expelled from the Abdel-Aziz mountain range.
SDF was assisted by Kurdish YPG militias, which helped turn the tide of battle and liberate several towns in the area. The joint SDF/YPG offensive made it possible to push ISIS militants off strategic heights and force them to withdraw toward Raqqa province boundaries.
Various militant groups, which seek cover during daylight and launch raids at night, are still being cleared. The militants were not able to organize conventional resistance. Their large formations have been destroyed or scattered, and the small ones are hunted by Tiger Forces commandos.
Syrian aircraft and intelligence assets are being used to clear territory of militants. In combination, they are effective at many types of missions, including destroying the leaders of militant formations.
A SAAF airstrike with targeting data provided by “land-based sources” killed ISIS head emissary to Aleppo province. Umar al-Absi, better known as Abu al-Asir, was killed in the village of Tuman on the al-Bab plateau. One other senior ranking leader, Abu Muavia al-Khalabi, was also killed.
ISIS has neither confirmed nor denied is leaders death, though the social media has seen expressions of condolences due to the death of such “respected colleagues.”
The besieged city is continuing to hold in spite of relentless attempts to capture it. ISIS once again attacked the southern perimeter of the airbase and even managed to come very close to its defenses under a barrage of large-caliber machine-gun fire.
The bloody battle lasted 9 hours, but the militants failed to turn it to its advantage. Having failed with heavy losses, the extremists left to regroup and replenish their ranks before the next attack.
The next assault is expected on the same day. Some 30 militants have been killed and about another 30 were wounded. However, ISIS can’t find reinforcements to send against the airbase, as units traveling in that direction are being effectively interdicted and destroyed from the air.
After a month-long pause, the SAA resumed active operations. The 67th Brigade supported by Desert Hawks and NDF units finally took the village of Bayarat from the militants. Syrian forces exploited their success and took half of the nearby Davvakh village from the retreating militants.
SAA is also operating effectively on the approaches to Palmyra, in the old rock quarries which were abandoned a month ago following an ISIS counterattack. That sector of the front is relatively quiet at the moment. The SAA is awaiting reinforcements that will help complete the breakthrough.