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Clashes resumed in Al-Qaboun district in eastern Damascus as the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) capture more points from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and its allies. The SAA detected a tunnel connecting many positions of the militants inside the district and destroyed it. Ahrar al-Sham claimed that its members had hit two SAA tanks in Al-Qaboun district.
Pro-militant sources say that opposition forces are in a critical situation in the area after government troops cut off supply lines operated by militants in the area. HTS-led forces suffer from shortages of ammunition and food.
Earlier this week, the SAA launched an operation against ISIS to in the Damascus desert east of the Syrian capital. So far, the SAA has advanced towards the Al-Sham desert around the Tishreen electricity station capturing some 6 kilometers. Pro-government sources report heavy losses among ISIS members.
There were also some reports about the dismantling of three Israeli spy and jamming stations by the SAA in the area. The stations used to monitor the Damascus International Airport and the Marj al-Sultan Airport.
The Tiger Forces, the 5th Assault Corps, a military wing of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party and other pro-government units continued attempts to advance against Hayat Tahrir al-Sham in northern Hama. Now clashes are mainly ongoing in the areas near Massanah and Zilaqiat. Government troops are attempting to reach al-Lataminah and to besiege this important militant stronghold.
In the province of Homs, government forces captured the abandoned battalion north of the T4 airbase and a range of strategic highlands near the Al-Mahr gas field. 5th Assault Corps troops had resized the Al-Sha’er gas field earlier this week. Separately, the SAA repelled an ISIS attack on the Al-Sukari area south of Palmyra. ISIS claimed that its members had killed four Syrian soldiers in the clashes.
ISIS had deployed some reinforcements to eastern Homs following the significant advances made by the SAA and the Free Syrian Army in the desert of Palmyra and Damascus. ISIS seeks to keep the presence in this area in order to prevent further advances of anti-ISIS forces along the Syrian-Iraqi border.
The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) continued its operations against ISIS in the districts of Al-Wahbe and Al-Iza’a in the southern part of Tabqa in the province of Raqqah.
In recent clashes, the SDF reportedly killed 20 ISIS militants and captured 10 others. The SDF also destroyed four ISIS vehicles and managed to capture an arms depot and a tank in the southern districts of Tabqa. The SDF operation is an actively supported by the US-led coalition airpower and military advisors.
The SDF released an official statement condemning Turkish airstrikes on Kurdish militia in northern Syria and called the international community to force Turkey to avoid such actions.
Meanwhile, Kurdish YPG fighters attacked a Turkish air defense site at the Syrian-Turkish border. YPG members destroyed a radar vehicle and a command vehicle with ATGMs in response to Turkish airstrikes and artillery strikes on YPG-aligned targets in northern Syria.
Israeli Air Force warplanes bombed the area of the Damascus International Airport early on Thursday, the Syrian Defense Ministry announced in a statement at its website. According to the statement, airstrikes hit objects in southwestern the international airport. The ministry confirmed that airstrikes caused some damage and denied any casualties. The statement also said that Israel airstrikes are aimed at supporting terrorists in Syria. According to media reports, at least 5 airstrikes hit the airport area on around 3:00-3:30 A.M. local time. Reuters reported (citing own sources) that the airstrikes hit a military hub operated by Hezbollah.