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Syrian War Report – Jan. 18, 2019: Syrian Military Reinforces Positions In Northwestern Hama

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Units of the Tiger Forces have been deployed on a frontline near the militant-held town of Qalat al-Madiuq in northwestern Hama, several pro-government sources claimed on January 17 speculating that this is a sign of the upcoming offensive in the area.

However, sources in the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) say that the claims of an immediate military operation in response the Idlib de-escalation zone are not accurate. A source in the SAA told SouthFront that many units of the Republican Guard, 1st Division, 3rd Division, 9th Division and the 100th Regiment will also be deployed in northwestern Hama soon.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin are set to meet in Moscow on January 23. They will discuss the situation in Idlib among other issues. Some experts believe that the two leaders will discuss on a new mechanism to reinforce the failed demilitarized zone agreement during the meeting.

This mechanism is needed to prevent a further expansion of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) in this part of the country. The terrorist group is officially excluded from the ceasefire regime, but so far Turkey and its proxies have undertaken no actions to eliminate the terrorists in the area. At the same time, Ankara opposes a SAA military operation in Idlib because this will mean the further success of the Damascus government in restoring control of the country.

Following the ISIS suicide bombing in Manbij, which caused casualties among US personnel, the Manbij Military Council of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) claimed that it had detained a ‘terrorist’ cell linked to Turkish intelligence services and Turkish-backed militant groups operating in northern Syria. According to the statement, the cell was preparing multiple ‘explosions’ and ‘similar terrorist acts’ in the Manbij area. By this statement, the SDF de-facto attempted to blame Turkey for the terrorist attack that had killed US personnel.

Previously, the SDF had repeatedly accused Turkey of supporting ISIS in the framework of its campaign designed in an attempt to undermine the US-Turkish relations and to prevent an agreement between Washington and Aknara over northern Syria.

In the Euphrates Valley, the SDF captured the villages of al-Susah and Bubadran form ISIS. This advance was supported by almost a hundred of US-led coalition airstrikes. The ISIS-held pocket in the Euphrates Valley is about to collapse. However, this does not mean that the terrorist group will be fully eliminated. Multiple ISIS cells still operate across the country.

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  • You can call me Al

    Please read this over and over again, until you fully understand it :-

    “At the same time, Ankara opposes a SAA military operation in Idlib because this will mean the further success of the Damascus government in restoring control of the country.”

    WTF ?……..!!!!!!!!????????

  • purplelibraryguy

    “Previously, the SDF had repeatedly accused Turkey of supporting ISIS in
    the framework of its campaign designed in an attempt to undermine the
    US-Turkish relations and to prevent an agreement between Washington and
    Aknara over northern Syria.”
    To be fair to the “SDF”, Turkey really did support ISIS. It’s uncertain if they do any more, probably they’ve dropped ’em now that they’re obviously useless. But come on, everyone knows Turkey was the highway for ISIS supply and troops to enter Syria, and the Turkish authorities were assisting the process.

  • Anastasis

    «The battle is not over,” said Makron on a military basis near Toulouse, recalling “our four American friends” who were killed on Wednesday in Syria.» From the statements of the imperialist states we can conclude that the episode is used as a pretext for remaining foreign forces in Syria to fight Isis in fact is their ally in NATO Turkey that feeds terrorists and directs all their activities.

  • Expo Marker

    Turkey is aiming to annex Idlib with these actions. They are already registering vehicles in Afrin and north Aleppo as Turkish vehicles!

    May Turkey be warned: northern Syria will not become another Northern Cyprus!

  • FlorianGeyer

    IF is is proven that Turkey was involved with the suicide bombing that killed four American service personnel it would be, in my opinion, a good thing.

    The US MSM would be hysterical if a NATO nation was responsible :)

    It could well be that the bomber was on his way somewhere else and that he panicked when he saw the US patrol. There are a few possible scenarios BUT with four Americans dead, the results will be interesting :)

    • jako

      Agree… it would be “good thing” above all for Syria.
      Still, do you think U.S. would go public (if they discover that Turkey is behind all that)?
      Going public would deteriorate already bad relations not only between US and Turkey but also between Turkey and NATO and push automatically Turkey even more on Russian side ….I am not sure that is something US would like to see.
      US would probably try (behind the curtain) to use that situation to “straighten”, to line up Turkey more with strictly US interests which is compromise over Kurds…
      That is my guess…

      • FlorianGeyer

        I agree.
        The question is though, How much can be kept private these days ?

        • jako

          There is here new article on “false flag” attack in Manbij and that resonates to me as the most probable….
          There is logic behind such attack that CIA+Mossad would use ISIS bomb against US soldiers to force Trump to stay in Syria
          While in the same time they screw Trump over his support for that Saudi dick…MBS- Bin Salman by killing his major operative in Syria…

          • FlorianGeyer

            That supposition certainly has merit I agree.
            It would be a great risk though for the CIA/Mossad IF they were responsible. Such an operation would spark a war inside the US military as well.

            It will be interesting who the US Military does blame and will Iran, Syria ,Hezbollah, Russia et al be the intended targets of the blame game ?

          • jako

            Fucking good point !

            The first thing US military must answer is whom they want to serve.
            Deep State, Pentagon, DoD or national interests of their own people and country…
            That question becomes every day bigger because situation in US becomes ever more precarious and even dramatic concerning huge debt and growing economic difficulties on one hand… And US Empire chasing wars for the profits of military industrial complex, Wall Street banks and huge international corporations on the other hand…

          • FlorianGeyer

            Yes, it is logical that the leaders of the US are now realising that US debt accumulated from US wars around the globe is now the main threat to the USA itself.

            The only ways to negate that debt are to default, print money to pay the debt and suffer hyper inflation or steal the assets of another nation.

            Russia has circa 75 trillion in US dollar terms of naturel resources today. This is the only country in the world with such natural wealth and there remains more to be discovered as Russia is the largest country in the world.

            America needs Russian wealth to survive.

          • jako

            America needs every-bodies wealth ….but yes… Russian above all.
            Still whatever they do there is no way they can avoid collapse of the dollar and their total demise as an Empire..

  • DankBeast

    The SAA need to at least to take back Latakkia ASAP, this doesn’t look good at all.

  • tontopollas

    SAA is running out of time, if turkish forces start a campaign they won’t even have a chance. Damascus government should start a full scale offensive in Idlib surrounding and avoiding the turkish forts (let them starve in their holes) Afrin it’s already lost, let’s focus on Idlib