Recent escalation of the regime and Russian military operations within the “de-escalation” zone stretched from the north-eastern mountains of Lattakia, to the north-western suburbs of Aleppo city passing through both Hama and Idlib, has completed its eighth day in a row.
The eighth day of escalation witnessed the highest number of raids on the “de-escalation” zone sine July 2019, as regime jets and helicopters consecutively targeted both Idlib and Aleppo countryside with nearly 400 airstrikes
During the period between the morning of January 15 and January 23, Syrian Observatory activists documented more than 4,755 air and ground strikes targeting the southern, eastern and south-eastern countryside of Idlib and both western and southern countryside of Aleppo.
The air and ground strikes were distributed as follows:
- Russian warplanes: 380 raids at least
- Regime warplanes: over 381 raids
- Regime helicopters: 144 barrel bombs
- Regime ground forces: over 3,850 rockets and artillery shells.
SOHR activists also documented during the same period the killing of 87 civilians including 34 children as well as the injury of 182 others.
The fatalities were distributed as follows:
- 52 civilians including 29 children and nine females were killed in Russian bombardment on Bala, Kafrtaal, Kafr Jum, Al-Jinah, Uwayjil, Kafr Nouran, Jadraya, Arhab, Kafr Naha, the vicinity of Atarib in the western countryside of Aleppo, Al-Humayrah south of Aleppo, and Al-Barah, Saraqib, Arnabah in rural Idlib
- 21 civilians including three children and one member of the civil defense, were killed in bombardment by regime jets on Idlib city and Hass town
- 14 civilians including two children and four females were killed due to shelling by jihadi groups on neighborhoods in the regime-controlled city of Aleppo.
On the other hand, the situation on the ground turned upside down after a meeting held few days ago between the Turkish intelligence with factions’ commanders at the Syrian border with Iskenderun. During the meeting, the Turks informed the factions that all recent political solutions failed and that the factions had to focus on the military aspect.
Turkey provided its loyal fighters with the American TOW missiles. It became notable that the latest attacks were initiated by the factions in which they recovered positions captured recently by the regime forces, in addition to inflicting large number of casualties among the regime soldiers and loyalists.
The fierce battles and hysterical aerial and ground fire resulted in the killing of 119 regime government troops, and 72 fighters including 56 jihadis.
For their part, the factions recovered Abu Juraif and Tal Khatrah villages which the regime controlled just after the ceasefire collapsed. Furthermore, the factions managed to capture Tal Musaytif village which came under the regime forces control before 18 months.
SOHR also documented the killing of 41 other jihadis in aerial Russian bombardment on the western countryside of Aleppo, and both eastern and south-eastern countryside of Idlib.
Meanwhile, four Russian soldiers were killed in an attack by jihadi groups on a position from which the Russians run and supervise the military operations in the eastern countryside of Idlib.