Syria in Last 24 Hours: Ahrar Al-Sham Retreating from Idlib to Speed up Turkey's Military Invasion of Syria

TEHRAN (FNA)- Field sources in Northwestern Syria reported that Ahrar al-Sham has started to retreat from its positions in Idlib province to pave the ground for the Turkish Army troops to cross into the Northern Syrian province.

The sources said that as the possibility grows for the Turkish military interference in Idlib, Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at (the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front) attacked the towns of Saraqib, Sarmada, al-Dana, Harem and Salqin and imposed control over regions near Bab al-Hawa border crossing.

But the same sources and news websites affiliated to the terrorist groups said that Ahrar al-Sham started pulling back its forces to get rid of Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at and to speed up Ankara's military invasion of Idlib. 

The Syrian army also continued its advances in other key provinces across Syria.

Deir Ezzur

A number of ISIL field commanders continued to escape battlefields in the Eastern province of Deir Ezzur after the Syrian Army troops intensified their offensives against the terrorist group's defense lines in Southern Raqqa and Eastern Homs to enter Deir Ezzur province, well-informed sources said.

The sources reported that the Syrian Air Force conducted a series of combat sorties on the positions and movements of ISIL terrorists in Deir Ezzur city and its surroundings.

In the meantime, the army intensified airstrikes on the gatherings and positions of ISIL in the neighborhoods of al-Huweiqa al-Sharqiyeh, al-Sina'ah, al-Hamidiyeh, al-Orfi, al-Ardi in the city of Deir Ezzur, the sources pointed out.

They added that the ISIL positions were also targeted in the vicinity of the Regiment base, al-Raqqa Bridge base, the airport, al-Thardah area, al-Jafrah and al-Jneineh villages in the surroundings of the city.

The airstrikes caused deaths and injuries among ISIL terrorists and left many of their sites and vehicles, some equipped with machine guns, destroyed

Army units also engaged in fierce clashes with ISIL terrorists on the Southern and Southwestern directions, leaving many of them dead or wounded and their weapons destroyed.

Local sources mentioned that leaders within the ISIL continue fleeing areas in the countryside of Deir Ezzur after the advances of the Syrian army, with the latest being a security official of ISIL in the town of al-Mayadeen  called Abu Wissam al-Adnan.

The sources also noted that ISIL executed one of its members who was from Morocco in the town of Buqrus.

Also, a military official reported that the ISIL is facing an acute shortage of militants in the Eastern province of Deir Ezzur after being forced to send reserves to more pressing fronts in Northern and Central Syria.

“We have seen a big drop in Daesh (ISIL) attacks in Deir Ezzur. They used to attack on a daily basis before the battle in Raqqa. Now, they just conduct hit-and-run attacks,” the source said.

The Syrian Special forces deployed in Southern Raqqa and the Army soldiers deployed in Eastern Homs started a joint anti-ISIL operation to drive terrorists out of the strategic town of al-Sukhnah that is considered as the main gate to Deir Ezzur city.

Syrian special troops plan to expand Southward from the key town of al-Rasafeh in order to press ISIL’s positions as far South as the town of al-Sukhnah in Eastern Homs.

As the Tiger Forces are pushing South to Homs province, it will allow their allies from the Desert Hawks Brigade to blitz the ISIL’s positions in the Eastern parts of Hama province.

Meantime, the army forces continue massive operations from Western al-Sukhnah – the Eastern parts of the ancient city of Palmyra (Tadmur) – towards the last ISIL stronghold in Homs.

The Syrian army units and Hezbollah fighters also continued their operations to reach the strategic town of al-Sukhnah, the Takfiri terrorist group’s last defense lines directly West of the city of Deir Ezzur, deploying their forces just a few kilometer away from the vital bastion.

A field source announced the troops' massive operation in Eastern Homs and Hama, saying that driving the ISIL out of Aqayrabat and al-Sukhnah means the end of the terrorist group's presence in Central Syria.

Another source said that the army has dispatched more heavy equipment to Arak region in Eastern Homs to intensify attacks on ISIL's defense lines in al-Sukhnah.

The source further added that following ISIL's defeats in Aleppo and Raqqa provinces, the fresh army operation that will cover Eastern Hama and Homs and the entire Deir Ezzur province is so important that the army would dispatch more forces and equipment to advance towards Deir Ezzur with the back up of the Russian Air Force.

Al-Sukhnah is the last bastion of ISIL fighters in Homs and the last strategic barrier which stands before pro-government forces can lift the siege of Deir Ezzur.

Also, according to a report, Damascus is on the verge of imposing full control over the central parts of the war-hit country after 3 and a half years as ISIL withdrew from Aleppo province and along with the Syrian Army troops' advances in Western Raqqa.

A source said that following the army's control over Aleppo and its forces' continued advances in Western Raqqa, and Eastern Homs and Hama, its now seems that the central parts of the country will soon be cleaned of terrorists after three and a half years of occupation.

The sources added that the army has stopped its anti-terrorism operation in Northern Hama to prepare the region as a platform for the liberation operations in the Eastern direction of al-Salamiyah city that has been a main bastion of ISIL and the town of Aqayrabat that is considered a gate to Eastern Homs.

In the meantime, the army men's operation in Homs is underway, while recapturing the town of al-Sukhnah in the Eastern direction of the ancient city of Palmyra will pave the way for entering Deir Ezzur province.

Another military source said that with the liberation of the regions East of al-Salamiyah and recapturing of the remaining regions in Northeastern Homs the army forces will be capable of imposing full control over the central part of the country.

Military experts said the recent advances of the Syrian Army troops at border with Iraq towards the ISIL-held town of Albu Kamal were of vital importance, showing that the pro-government forces will soon drive terrorists out of the war-hit country.

Amin Hatit pointed to the army's advances against terrorists from the country's border with Iraq towards North, and said that the army's control over the large region between Deir Ezzur city and the town of Albu Kamal will pave the ground for the restoration of complete tranquility and security to Palmyra, energy-rich regions and Badiyeh (desert).

He further said that the joint operation of the Syrian and Iraqi forces would benefit both countries, adding that the Raqqa triangle towards Palmyra that covers a large region up to Deir Ezzur and Albu Kamal is a strategic triangle that can be used for the overall liberation operation in Syria.

Hatit underscored the strategic importance of Deir Ezzur that is located between Iraq and Syria, saying the army expects two important objectives from the liberation operation of Deir Ezzur. "First foiling the US plan to access central parts of Syria and Iraq and the second, completing its anti-terrorism operation and liberating all Syrian territories."

Damascus

The army units continued their anti-terrorism operation in Eastern Ghouta, and pushed back militants from several positions in Ein Terma region.

The army troops resumed a fresh round of offensives against terrorists in Eastern Ghouta, winning back al-Kheir Market and al-Sonbol petrol station after hours of fierce clashes with militants in Ein Terma region in the Eastern part of the capital.

In the meantime, a large number of the army's fresh soldiers have been deployed in Jobar in recent days to start another vital operation in the region.

Following the recent success in Ein Terma, the army is expected to begin operation in Jobar as they look to expel the remaining militants of Faylaq Al-Rahman from the area.

In the meantime, the army troops and the Lebanese Hezbollah combatants launched a joint operation from two directions to hit the terrorist groups' positions in Arsal and Qalamoun Heights at Syria-Lebanon border regions.

Hezbollah's mortar and missile units pounded the gatherings and command centers of Al-Nusra Front (also known as Fatah al-Sham Front or the Levant Liberation Board) in Zohr al-Hawa, al-Qanzah, Eagle heights, Wadi (desert) al-Khayl and Sha'aba al-Nahla region in Arsal heights.

Also, the missile units of the Syrian army and Hezbollah, deployed in Western Qalamoun and Fliteh Heights opened heavy fire at terrorists' positions in al-Zalil heights, Tal (hill) al-Karah and Tal al-Alam.

Also, the army and its allies, backed up by heavy airstrikes of the Syrian air force, stormed the large hilltop of Tal Burkan near the Faliteh Barrens, forcing militants of Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at (the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front) to concede the hilltop to Damascus forces.

The army men managed further to advance against terrorists and took control of several positions in Tal (hill) Bourkan.

The fresh phase of Western Qalamoun operation at Syria-Lebanon border is considered as the last phase of the joint anti-terrorism operation in the region.

Aleppo

Local sources confirmed that hundred of families returned home in the town of Deir Hafer and its surrounding villages after the Syrian Army restored sustainable security to Eastern and Southeastern Aleppo.

The sources reported that the demining and cleansing operation of the townships and villages of Deir Hafer region carried out by the army's engineering units have ended and hundreds of civilians and villagers have thus far retuned to their houses.

In the meantime, the Syrian state new agency reported that a large number of homeless civilians are expected to return to their homes in Deir Hafer in the coming days.

Reports said that the Nouralddeen al-Zinki terrorist group declared that it cut ties with Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at after six months of cooperation with the coalition due to Tahrir al-Sham's continued clashes with Ahrar al-Sham.

In an official statement, the group rationalized its decision, claiming that it was unsatisfied with Tahrir al-Sham coalition’s aggression towards Ahrar al-Sham and the outright refusal of Tahrir al-Sham' commanders to seek common ground with Ahrar al-Sham.

According to the statement, despite joining ranks with Ahrar al-Sham, the group intends to stay clear of any and all infighting between Ahrar al-Sham and the coalition.

Nouralddeen al-Zinki movement became well known in 2016 when its top members beheaded a 12 year old Palestinian child on camera with a hunting knife.

Nouralddeen al-Zinki joined Tahrir al-Sham in early 2017 and became one of the most important members of the coalition along with Fatah al-Sham Front (former Al-Nusra).

Al-Nusra is now the most important member of the coalition and the defection of Nouralddeen al-Zinki.

Raqqa

The army forces continued to hit ISIL hard in Southern Raqqa and managed to drive terrorists out of seven more oil wells in the depth of Syria's Badiyeh (desert) during their push towards the town of al-Sukhnah, the last main bastion of ISIL terrorists in Eastern Homs, a military source said.

The source said that the army troops stormed ISIL's defense lines in the depth of Badiyeh and won back seven more oil well.

The source further added that the ground forces' advances occurred following intensified air attacks of the Russian and Syrian fighter jets on ISIL's command centers and gatherings in the villages of Ma'adan, al-Rabiyeh, Rasm al-Qanem and al-Jableh. 

Another military source said after capturing a dozen minor wells, the Tiger Forces brushed aside ISIL resistance on the two directions of the oil-rich region, advancing five kilometers towards Southeast and five kilometers towards Southwest.

As the Syrian army’s Tiger Forces alongside other pro-government forces started special military operation to take back the strategic town of al-Sukhnah in Eastern Homs, pro-gov't forces managed to liberate half a dozen oil fields from the ISIL militants which resulted in another major loss for the Takfiri terrorist group.

Al-Sukhnah is the last bastion of ISIL fighters in Homs and the last strategic barrier which stands before the pro-government forces can lift the siege of Deir Ezzur.

Meanwhile, a Syrian official at the country's oil industry announced that the Syrian Army troops have liberated over 40 oil wells in their anti-ISIL operations in Raqqa province in the last 30 days.

Ali Ibrahim said that the army men have since early June freed over 40 fixed oil pumps that had been destroyed by the ISIL before started retreat in Raqqa province.

He further added that after defusing landmines planted by the ISIL and reconstruction of the damaged oil pumps, most of the oil wells will start working normally and oil extraction will start soon.

The army men, deployed in Western Raqqa, launched a fresh round of operation a couple of das ago to move towards the last stronghold of ISIL in Eastern Homs that resulted in the liberation of 40 oil wells.      

The army troops' recent advances towards al-Sukhnah region have narrowed down the terrorist group's oil exports.

According to a source, as the Syrian army’s Tiger Forces alongside other pro-government fighters started anti-terrorism operation to take back the strategic town of al-Sukhnah in Eastern Homs, the army soldiers managed to liberate half a dozen oil fields from ISIL militants which resulted in another major loss for the Takfiri terrorist group.

The sources announced that the pro-government forces have imposed full control over several oil and gas fields in Homs in the recent months, adding that the army is resolved to continue the advance to capture more oilfields in the near future.

Russia had earlier announced that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his family members are directly involved in illegal oil deliveries from ISIL oil fields in Syria.

Turkey’s leadership, including President Erdogan and his family, was involved in illegal oil trade with ISIL militants, the Russian Defense Ministry said, adding that Turkey was the final destination for oil smuggled from Syria and Iraq.

Satellite and drone images had showed hundreds of oil trucks moving from the ISIL-held territories in Syria to Turkey to reach their destination at Turkish refineries and ports controlled by Turkish president's family.

Homs

The army troops engaged in fierce clashes with hundreds of ISIL terrorists and repelled their offensive near the provincial border between Homs and Deir Ezzur, killing and wounding over 80 militants.

The army soldiers engaged in fierce clashes with ISIL terrorists West of Humeimeh region near the provincial border of Homs with Deir Ezzur and managed to fend off their offensive.

The army men killed over 30 terrorists and injured 50 others, forcing the remaining pockets of the terrorists to retreat.

In the meantime, five military vehicles of the ISIL were damaged in the failed attack.

Field sources said that one of the most notorious commanders of ISIL is among the dead terrorists. 

Reports said on Friday that the army forces continued to advance against ISIL in Eastern Homs and managed to take back several strategic positions en route to the town of al-Sukhnah, the last stronghold of the terrorists before Deir Ezzur.

The Syrian Army resumed its military operations in Eastern Homs province, hitting the ISIL positions near the town of Jubab Hamad.

After hours of bloody battle, the army soldiers took full control of Tal Al-Alam which overlooks Jubab Hamad, securing the town of Jubab Hamad in Eastern Homs.

The Syrian Army also took control of an important chain of hills in Eastern Homs, establishing fire control over the ISIL-held Manbal area, West of al-Sukhnah.

The army men killed some 30 militants and destroyed several military vehicles in the attacks.

Hama

The Russian Air Force carried out several combat flights over ISIL's defense and supply lines in Eastern Hama to provide aerial back up for the Syrian government forces in the region, inflicting major losses on the terrorists.

The fighter jets carried out several combat sorties over ISIL's positions and movements in Eastern Hama, killing and wounding a number of terrorists.

The warplanes destroyed ISIL's headquarters in the town of Jubb Al-Abyad, killing and wounding scores of militants.

In the meantime, a new convoy of the Syrian Army special forces has been dispatched to the Eastern direction of the town of al-Salamiyah to launch fresh anti-ISIL operation in Eastern Hama.

According to a report from Eastern Hama, the Syrian Army is expected to start a fresh round of military operation in the Eastern countryside Salamiyah in coming days to target ISIL’s last positions between the Hama and Homs provinces.

The Syrian and Russian forces, backed by the two countries' warplanes, have started a new phase of military operations to expel the ISIL from Eastern Hama in bid to secure the town of al-Salamiyah.

Based on reports, the Russian Special Forces, backed by Moscow's Air Force, have also participated in the military operations in Eastern Hama.

Aqayrabat region includes tens of villages and towns that is ISIL's main base in the province and is used by the terrorists to attack the army positions in al-Salamiyah.

Syria in Last 24 Hours: Ahrar Al-Sham Retreating from Idlib to Speed up Turkey's Military Invasion of Syria

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