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As of February 6, Turkish forces and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) continue to exchange fire in Syria’s northern and northeastern regions, further destabilizing the situation in the war-torn country.
The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) was drawn into the stand-off between the two sides on February 4 when three of its service members were wounded as a result of a series of Turkish artillery strikes that targeted the SDF-held towns of Mara’naz, Shawargha and al-Irshadiyah in the northern countryside of Aleppo.
The SAA responded on the same day by targeting a vehicle of the Turkish-backed Mu’tasim Division near the town of Marea in the northern Aleppo countryside with an anti-tank guided missile. One militant was killed and two others were wounded as a result of the strike.
On the same day, the SDF shelled Marea as well. The attack resulted in some material damage and several civilians were wounded.
On February 5, a primitive suicide drone that was launched by Turkish-backed militants crashed as a result of a technical failure in the outskirts of the SDF-held town of Baylouniyah in the northern countryside of Aleppo. The target of the drone was likely a position of the SDF.
Turkey took matters into its own hands on February 6. Turkish combat drones targeted two positions of the SDF near the village of Arab Hassan in the northeastern countryside of Aleppo. However, no casualties were reported. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, both positions were evacuated before the strikes.
The situation in northern and northeastern Syria may escalate even more in the upcoming days, especially as Turkey appears to be looking for excuses to launch an operation against the SDF.
Meanwhile, in Syria’s central region, the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) continue its combat operations against ISIS cells.
On February 5, at least 16 Russian airstrikes targeted several caves and dens in the eastern Homs countryside and the Hama-Aleppo-Raqqa triangle where ISIS terrorists were hiding.
On February 6, more than 32 Russian airstrikes hit the terrorist hideouts near the town of Ithriyah in the eastern Hama countryside and the town of al-Resafa in the southern countryside of Raqqa.
The recent decline in ISIS attacks indicates that the terrorists group has sustained some serious damage as a result of the recent Russian and Syrian operations in the central region.
In Syria’s northwestern region, known as Greater Idlib, the ceasefire is still holding up despite a few minor ceasefire violations by the al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and its allies.
The VKS responded to these violations on February 6. A series of Russian airstrikes hit the outskirts of the town of Kafer Shalaya in the southern countryside of Idlib. The targets were likely positions belonging to HTS.
The situation in Greater Idlib may deteriorate in the upcoming days as the weather is getting better. This will allow HTS and its allies to carry out larger attacks.
Meanwhile in the southern Syrian regions, the situation has been calm. No security incidents were reported in al-Quneitra, Daraa or al-Suwayda as of February 7. However, there are no guarantees that the situation will remain stable in a short term.
Overall, the escalation between Turkish forces and the SDF in Syria’s northern and northeastern regions remain the biggest threat to the security and stability of the country. A full-on military confrontation between the two sides could break out soon.