The Turkish Army has shelled Syrian Army positions near the town of Bir Issa in northern Raqqa. Local Kurdish sources claimed that several Syrian soldiers were injured and three vehicles were destroyed in the incident that took place on December 29. On the same day, sources close the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) reported that the SDF had destroyed a Turkish military vehicle and killed 3 persons abroad in the same area.
Despite these developments, the situation in the area remained relatively calm thanks to the ceasefire regime agreed by Ankara and Moscow. However, if such incidents continue to appear, northeastern Syria will once again became a hot point of the conflict.
According to the Russian side, one of the destabilizing factors is the US support to Kurdish separatism on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov addressed this issue on December 30 following talks with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif.
In southeastern Idlib, the Syrian Army secured the town of al-Halba after a series of clashes with Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and its allies. After a series of setbacks in the battle against government forces, Idlib militant groups are now regrouping and resupplying their forces. The army is also not conducting large offensive actions.