south front

Turkistan Terrorists Killed Five Syrian Officers In Suicidal Raid in Idlib
South Front, Jul 21 2021

On Jul 20 morning, four terrorists of the al-Qaeda-affiliated Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP) carried out an “Inghimasi attack” [suicidal raid] on a post of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in the town of Mizanaz in the western countryside of Aleppo. The terrorists infiltrate SAA defenses on Mizanaz front then stormed the post, where they killed five officers. All four terrorists were tracked and killed by the army before they could withdraw. The five casualties were identified as follows:

  • Cpt Majid Hassoun,
  • Cpt Ayham Al-Hussein,
  • Lt Masoum Al-Ahmad Allah,
  • Lt Mahmoud Anas Damer, and
  • Lt Abd’ul-Rahman Anas Dam.

All of them were serving in the ranks of the Republican Guards’ 125th Battalion. The attack took place as Russian warplanes were pounding militants’ positions in the outskirts of the town of Kabani in the northern Lattakia countryside. Recently, militants in Greater Idlib escalated their attacks on the SAA and shelled a number of government-held towns and villages around the region. The ceasefire, which was brokered on March 5 of last year by Russia and Turkey, is barely holding on. The TIP has been fighting on several frontlines in Greater Idlib alongside the de-facto ruler of the region, Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham. According to recent reports, China has been providing the SAA with military support to combat the TIP. During his last visit to Damascus, Beijing’s Foreign Minister discussed joint work against terrorist groups.

Israel Conveniently Air Strikes Targets Near Syria’s Aleppo
South Front, Jul 20 2021

After a short hiatus, Israel is back to bombing Syrian territory. Late on Jul 19, a series of Israeli strikes hit the northern Syrian governorate of Aleppo. The airstrikes targeted the al-Safirah defense factories, 21 km to the south of Aleppo city. Prior to the 2013 deal, the factories produced chemical weapons. Now they simply produce conventional armaments and ammunition. Despite some successful interceptions, several explosions were reported inside the al-Safira defense factories, with footage shared on social media. These Israeli raids came a day after militants from the so-called “moderate opposition” in Greater Idlib shelled Aleppo city, striking a civilian building. The 122 mm rockets used in the attack were Turkish-made T-122 type Sakarya. Rockets of this type have been supplied to many factions in Greater Idlib in the last few years. Ansar al-Islam boasted with its Turkish-made mortar shells, posting pictures of the ones it had fired on the SAA. The militant group is a part of the al-Fateh al-Mubeen Operations Room, which is led by Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS). Several Turkish-backed factions are also members of the operations room. Hours after the Israeli raids, HTS militants also bombarded the city of Qardaha and the town of Slanfeh in the Lattakia countryside.

In the southern part of Idlib, HTS and Ansar al-Islam bombed Syrian Arab Army (SAA) positions in Jabala, and other locations nearby. Ceasefire violations are quite common, and are carried out by both HTS and and Ansar al-Islam. This is a consequence of Turkey turning a blind eye to the ceasefire agreement, signed in March 2020. The SAA and its Russian support are generally obligated to respond to the ceasefire breaches, sometimes in a disproportionate manner. What’s more is that even the Turkish forces sometimes respond, shelling SAA positions, as well as frequently shelling any Kurdish group that they deem related to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party. Ankara, thus, is not a part of the solution, but rather a party that contributes to the violations and carries out many of its own violations aimed towards various targets. Afrin has been occupied by Turkish forces for a while, with the SAA steadily preparing to retake it, while militants often gather around the city to carry out attacks on Aleppo and other nearby locations. Likely expecting that the situation with the provocations might reach critical mass, the al-Fateh al-Mubeen Operations Room, the largest military formation in the northwestern Syrian region of Greater Idlib, placed its militants on high alert. Quite conveniently Israel deemed it necessary to target a weapons factory in the most volatile region.

Daesh Claims Responsibility For Rocket Attack On Kabul Presidential Palace
South Front, Jul 20 2021

Daesh has officially claimed responsibility for the recent rocket attack on the Presidential Palace in the Afghan capital, Kabul. The attack took place in the morning of Jul 20, during prayers for the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha. President Ashraf Ghani and other Afghan officials were praying at an outdoor gathering when three rockets landed in Bagh-e-Ali Mardan and Chaman-e-Hozori areas in Kabul’s District 1 and Manabe Bashari area in District 2, all located near the Presidential Palace. No casualties were reported. Daesh said that the attack also targeted Kabul’s Green Zone, where several diplomatic missions are situated. The terrorist group’s news agency shared photos showing seven 107 mm rockets which were used in the attack. The rockets were fired from an improvised launcher hidden in the trunk of a Toyota Corolla car that was parked in the Parwan-e-Se area in Kabul’s District 18. The rocket attack came as the US is withdrawing what’s left of its troops from Afghanistan. The Taliban has been also advancing on several frontlines, further destabilizing the already fragile situation in the country. Daesh is poised to benefit from the recent raise of violence between the Afghan government and the Taliban. The lack of progress in the intra-Afghan peace process has been playing in favor of the terrorist group.

New Round Of Violence On Armenian-Azerbaijani Border
South Front, Jul 20 2021

The Armenian Ministry of Defense claimed that the Azerbaijani forces had opened mortar fire on the border territory near the village of Yeraskh. According to Armenian local sources, the head of the administration of the village of Yerash, Rudik Odikyan, was wounded during the shelling. The ministry’s report says:

On Jul 19 at 18.40, the Azerbaijani armed forces have shelled Armenian positions stationed on the border near the village of Yeraskh for several hours in a row with firearms of various calibers. Mortars were also used.

The ministry added that the Azerbaijani leadership was responsible for the recent escalation in the region. On the other side, two hours after the incident in Yeraskh, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry reported shelling of the Sadarak district of Nakhichevan by Armenian forces. No losses were reported. the report says:

On Jul 19 at 20:50, the positions of the Azerbaijani Army in the direction of the Sadarak district of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic were again shelled with weapons of various calibers from the territory of Armenia.

The situation in the border regions is steadily deteriorating. Fire exchanges are reported on a daily basis, while the number of casualties is growing. Amid the ongoing escalation, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan called on Russia and the CSTO for help in resolving the situation.

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