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Voiceover by Harold Hoover
Syrian government forces have regained more areas from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham-led forces in northern Hama. Government troops have captured Massanah, Zawr Mahruqah, and reached Markabah. Clashes were also reported in Buwaida and Zailaqiat. Current developments show that government forces will likely attempt to secure Buwaida and Markabah and then storm Lataminah.
Fresh speculation has been circulating in the media that Russia is preparing to deploy its ground forces to Syria following an expected official request by the Syrian government. The reports refer to some unknown military sources and argue that a plan for the deployment already exists. However, this looks like another attempt to warm things up on the diplomatic front amid the collapse of “opposition” forces in northern Hama.
The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have continued their steady advance against ISIS in the northern countryside of Raqqah and inside the town of Tabqah.
The SDF seized the district of Wahhab in southern Tabqa and an industrial facility in the western part of the town, allegedly killing over 10 ISIS terrorists.
While the SDF is successfully advancing inside the town, reports that the US-backed force is in control of over more than half of Tabqah are not confirmed by evidence.
In the northern countryside of the ISIS self-proclaimed capital, SDF fighters achieved full control over a number of recently encircled villages north of Al-Hazimah and Mazraat Tishrin.
On Monday, the US Treasury Department Office of Foreign Assets Control issued sanctions against 271 employees of Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Center, alleging that the agency is responsible for producing chemical weapons.
“We take Syria’s disregard for innocent human life very seriously, and will relentlessly pursue and shut down the financial networks of all individuals involved with the production of chemical weapons used to commit these atrocities”, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.
There are no doubts that the words “all individuals” don’t include members of al-Qaeda-style “opposition organizations” operating across Syria, specially if these “opposition organizations” fight against the Assad government.
On April 7th, the US launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at the Ash Sha’irat military airfield operated by the Syrian Air Force following an alleged chemical attack supposedly conducted by the Syrian government in the province of Idlib. This move was described by Washington as a legal way to send a “signal” to the Syrian government.