Syrian and Russian warplanes carried out more than 40 airstrikes on militants’ positions in southern Idlib, northern Lattakia and southwestern Aleppo. According to pro-government sources, the resumed airstrikes were a response to the recent offensive actions by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and its Turkish-backed allies near the town of Kbani. Pro-militant media outlets as always claimed that the strikes hit civilian targets only.
Local sources report that Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and other radical groups are currently deploying additional artillery pieces and military equipment in northern Lattakia. So, a new round of escalation could be expected in the area soon.
The Russian military reinforced its positions near the town of Ayn Issa, where a coordination center with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) had been established. The deployed reinforcements included several military vehicles and dozens of trucks loaded with ammunition and equipment.
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Meanwhile, reports appeared that Russian forces established a military garrison near the Qamishli airport. Pro-militant sources claimed that this is a part of ongoing efforts to use the facility as an airbase for operations in northeastern Syria. Nonetheless, this is unlikely. Apparently, the Russians were there in the framework of the efforts to propel a reconciliation process between the SDF and the Damascus government.
US President Donald Trump has approved an expanded military mission to ‘secure’ Syrian oil, the Associated Press reported on November 6 citing “US officials”. The decision allegedly came after a last Friday meeting between Trump and his defense officials. The details of the plan is still being worked out. Nonetheless, even without this decision, the US is already building up forces in oil-rich areas in eastern Syria. So, the key question is how many US personnel and how many US-linked private military contractors will be deployed there.
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