Seven Syrian pro-government soldiers killed in Daesh attacks
The Jihadist group has increased offensives in recent months, prompting a response from the Russian army, which supports Bachar al-Asad
PHOTO/AFP – Syrian soldiers and government forces in the Syrian town of Deir Ezzor
Seven soldiers of the Syrian regime have been killed after Daesh bombed their positions in northern Syrian province Raqqa, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR). The observatory has put the number of deaths in this crossfire at seventeen, seven pro-government militiamen and nine members of the Daesh terrorist group.
The observatory, based in London, reported that Russian planes have been providing air support to the troops supporting Bachar al-Asad, carrying out bombings against Daesh’s positions in Jabal al-Beshri in the Syrian desert near the border between Deir Ezzor and Raqqa.
This attack comes one day after the human rights organisation documented the killing of a lieutenant of the Syrian regime and a commander of the National Defence Force (NDF) in clashes with members of the terrorist group in the southern desert of Deir Ezzor province.
Since March 24, 2019, SOHR has documented the killing of at least 753 soldiers of the Syrian regime, including two Russians and 140 militiamen of non-Syrian nationality supported by Iran. The observatory points out that “all of them were killed in attacks, bombings and ambushes in Daesh, west of the Euphrates, in the deserts of Deir Ezzor, Homs and Al-Suwaidaa”. The observatory has also counted the deaths of four civilians working in gas fields and eleven shepherds, who were killed by the terrorist group from March 2019 to date.
In March 2019, the Syrian Democratic Forces (DSF), supported by the United States, announced the defeat of the caliphate. “Syrian Democratic Forces declare total elimination of so-called caliphate and 100% territorial defeat of Isis [the IS group], wrote DSF spokesman Mustafa Bali on his Twitter account on March 23, 2019. “On this unique day, we commemorate thousands of martyrs whose efforts made the victory possible”, he added.
From the White House, US President Donald Trump reported the victory over the terrorist group, which had controlled 88,000 kilometres between Syria and Iraq. This victory managed to drastically reduce the number of fighters in Daesh’s ranks. However, the coalition led by Washington did not completely defeat the terrorist group.
According to reports from the US Department of Defence and the United Nations, Daesh managed to reorganise and recover significantly in both Iraq and Syria. The SOHR, which sent a report to the UN Security Council in February describing how Daesh had begun to rebuild, is in the same vein.
In addition to this, Turkey and Russia have recovered from the large-scale air attacks in the last days, thus breaking the non-aggression agreement that both countries signed in March this year. According to Reuters, Syrian opposition sources (backed by Ankara) said that Russian planes (supporting Bachar al-Asad) bombed northwest Syria this Sunday in the most important attacks since the non-aggression pact of March.
Prior to the coronavirus crisis, tension and the escalation of violence in the Syrian province of Idlib, the last rebel and Jihadist stronghold, between Ankara and Moscow sparked fears of an open war that is causing a humanitarian disaster. The agreement between Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Vladimir Putin aimed to guarantee the protection of civilians and establish a six-kilometre “security corridor” on each side of the M4 motorway, the strategic axis that crosses the Idlib region. But violations of this cessation of hostilities have been continuous, both by the groups supported by Turkey and by the Russian forces.