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Syrian War Report – December 11, 2019: Turkish Proxies Seek To Capture Chunks Of M4 Highway


Syrian War Report – December 11, 2019: Turkish Proxies Seek To Capture Chunks Of M4 Highway

On December 10, the military situation escalated in northern Lattakia and the surrounding area. According  to pro-government sources, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and allied militant groups conducted attacked and shelled several positions of the Syrian Army near the M4 highway and south of the town of Kbani.

In response, Syrian air forces and artillery units conducted strikes on militants’ positions near Jisr al-Shoughur, al-Janoudiya, and at a contact line near the M4 highway and Kbani. Pro-militant sources immediately described these strikes as an example of blatant aggression and ceasefire violations by the Assad regime.

Pro-Turkish sources reported that units affiliated with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces shelled positions of Turkish-backed militant groups near the city of Afrin.

In the province of Raqqa, Turkish-led forces once again seized the Shirlrak silos located on the M4 highway, east of Ayn Issa. Earlier this month, Turkish proxies withdrew from the area under the agreement between Aknara and Moscow. The control over Shirlrak allows pro-Turkish groups to rob civilians that use the highway. If they remain there, the Shirlrak silos will likely become a new point of tensions soon.

Meanwhile, Russian President’s Special Envoy on Syria Alexander Lavrentiev said that Turkey and Russia had agreed to not expand the northeastern Syria safe zone. Therefore, attempts by Turkish-led forces to seize more areas along the M4 highway is an open violation of the ceasefire agreement.



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  • Karen Bartlett

    Wouldn’t you know it. Erdogan seems unable to stop himself from thieving.

  • Hide Behind

    From a purely military standpoint, especially in nations with poor infrastructure as to transportation, Syria, control of all highways has great import.
    In Syria along Turkish and Iraq border those roadways are vital supply lines for all parties in that conflict.
    Both Kurds and terrorist groups need a route it Syrian oil exports, which now flow to Turkish concernss.
    The terrorist need open routes for supplies as they have no domestic sources and are all external.
    Kurds need control for much the same reasons as supply routes from and through mainly friendly Iraq Kurdish sources in Partnership with US/Israel and NATO.
    Damascus is very concerned about that highway for its own future needs in attempt to consolidate its old borders.
    They know Kurds in Syria will never cease to be independent, the snake in the grass that will eventually strike them.
    Without massive support of both Iraq and Syrian Kurds the NATO and even Turkey, a member, present size of presence would either be untenable or demand a massive introduction of US and NATO military.
    One other power Israel, sees future needs both as US/Kurd allies and its future land and energy needs.
    Let us not forget the large highway being built in Iraq that will dive deep into Syria and that highway is a crucial trunkline of it.

    • Karen Bartlett

      Good summation, thanks. It makes things easier to understand, since Americans generally don’t know enough about the history and terrain of the areas (Peoples) involved.

  • Mehmet Aslanak

    The whole purpose of 32 km peace corridor is to prevent communist guerilla use M4 highway to conduct their attacks on Turkey. Russia knows that from the agreement. “Rob civilians” term is a funny comment by the author.

  • Assad must stay (gr8rambino)

    So the rats still try to take land during the ceasefire and complain when SAA fires back. Who is in charge of punishing or stopping the torki proxies when they violate a ceasefire? I’d be interested to hear what Russian and Turkish officials say if you ask them that