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Syrian War Report – August 16, 2019: Militant Groups Lose Lots Of Equipment In Southern Idlib

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Syrian War Report – August 16, 2019: Militant Groups Lose Lots Of Equipment In Southern Idlib

Units of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the Tiger Forces, backed up by the Syrian Air Force and the Russian Aerospace Forces, have liberated Umm Zaytunah and Kafr Tab, and advanced on Abedin and Madaya in southern Idlib.

Meanwhile, the SAA repelled an militants attack on its positions around Sukayk and Tell Sukayk. The attack was conducted by joint forces of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and Wa Harid al-Muminin, known for their links with al-Qaeda, and the Turkish-backed National Front for Liberation.

So-called ‘democratic rebels’ used a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device driven by a suicide bomber to blow up SAA positions near Sukayk, but were not able to develop this tactical success and turn the situation in the area to own favor.

The SAA liberated Sukayk last week. Since then, militants have undertaken several attempts to recapture it. All of them failed.

Two battle tanks, two up-armored vehicles and three pick-up trucks belonging to militants were eliminated by the SAA in recent clashes west of Khan Shaykhun.

Units of the Russian Military Police and the Turkish military conducted on August 14 a joint patrol around the key city of Tell Rifaat in northern Aleppo, chief of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Opposing Sides in Syria announced.

“On August 14, 2019, from 12:00 to 12:40, the Russian and Turkish military police units jointly patrolled the Tell Rifaat deconfliction zone,” Maj. Gen. Alexei Bakin said adding that the patrol’s route ran between the villages of Herbol and Shaykh Issa, east of Tell Rifaat.

Tell Rifaat is one of the biggest urban centers in northern Aleppo. It is jointly controlled by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and the SAA. Units of the Russian Military Police have been deployed near the city for more than two years now.

At the same time, the Turkish military and Turkish proxies see the town as one of the high priority targets in the even of escalation in the area.

Last year, Russia and Turkey reached an initial agreement that would allow civilians to return to their houses in Tell Rifaat and de-escalate the situation. The recent developments may indicate that the sides have reached some kind of understanding on the situation in the Tell Rifaat area.

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