68 months of Russian intervention in Syria | Continuous attempts to compete with Iranians for influence west of the Euphrates…ongoing military operations in Syrian desert…routine joint patrols with Turks
The Russian forces completed their 68th month of military operations in Syria. In the eight month of the 6th year of Russia’s intervention in Syria, SOHR monitored several events.
In the north-east of the country, Russian forces and their Turkish counterparts conducted five joint patrols in May, three of which took place on May 10, 17 and 24 in Aleppo province and specifically in Ain al-Arab countryside (Kobani). The patrols set off from Ashma village, west of Ain al-Arab, passing through the villages and towns of Jareqli Fuqani, Jabna, Bayadiya to the village of Zor Maghar, located opposite the town of Jarabulus, which is controlled by Turkish forces and their proxy factions on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River, and is the last village in the countryside of Ain al-Arab (Kobani.)
The other two patrols took place on May 6 and 20 in Al-Hasakah countryside, where Turkish and Russian armoured vehicles set off from the village of Sherik, west of Derbasiya, and roamed villages and towns of Dalil, Quneitra, Karmania, Tal Kedish, Ghanamiya, Kanya, Karbouti, Tal Tairi, Jadida, Tal Karma, Abu Jrady, Khaski, Medura, Khanki, Kharazeh, Bahira and Jowhariyeh, are all located in rural al-Derbasiya and Amuda.
On May 16 SOHR activists in al-Qamishli city reported hearing loud explosions in the southern part of the city, exactly the regime forces’ Tartab Military Regiment, where Russian forces were carrying out military training exercises, with the participation of helicopters. These exercises ignited panic among the residents.
On May 9, SOHR activists in the west of the Euphrates region, specifically in Deir Ezzor, reported that the Russians are using money, not only to attract the young men and men, but also to lure pro-Iranian local soldiers to join the Russians.
The Russians offers a monthly salary of 240,000 Syrian Pounds in exchange for leaving pro-Iran militias and joining them, which is the double of monthly salary paid by the pro-Iran militias to their local recruits. Moreover, the work with the Russians will be in headquarters in Deir Ezzor and its countryside, with a 5-hour-service system and a similar break. According to SOHR sources, about 17 people had already accepted the Russian offer and left the Iranians.
This coincides with the continuous Russian efforts to share the Iranian influence in Syria, given the west of the Euphrates region is the capital of the Iranians in Syria.
Meanwhile, the Russian military warplanes targeted the northwest of Syrian, especially the area of “Putin-Erdoghan”, two times.
The first time was on May 12, SOHR sources reported that a Russian jet struck positions in the hills of Kabana in Latakia countryside with vacuum missiles. The attacks wounded five civilians.
The second time was on May 16, SOHR sources reported 12 airstrikes at lease executed by Russian jets on Latakia and Idlib countryside. The airstrikes hit positions in Burnas village and surrounding areas in the western countryside of Idlib, and Kabana hills in Jabal al-Akrad in the northern countryside of Latakia. However, no casualties have been reported. It is worth noting that Burnas village hosts a Turkish post.
In the 68th of Russia’s intervention in Syria, SOHR activists documented the death of 27 ISIS members and the injury of 41 others in more than 1,050 Russian airstrikes on their positions in the Syrian desert, mostly were killed in the deserts of Raqqa, Deir ez-Zor and Homs and the rest in Aleppo-Hama-Al-Raqqah triangle.
As months pass, the Syrians suffer the scourge of the Russian intervention, which seems to resemble a kind of revenge and retaliation against Syrians for protesting against the regime that committed the worst violations against its own people. At a time when the map of alliances and power balances is changing, Russia has become the ultimate winner, succeeding in helping the Syrian regime regaining control over about two-thirds of the country after losing control of most of its territory. Moscow used the pretext of “the war on terror” to commit massacres against civilians, and sponsored and struck agreements which soon after abandoned. Moscow and its war machine spilt in the blood of Syrians despite claiming to be “political mediator” or “broker” that can deal with all parties to the conflict.
With all recent changes in the balance of powers, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights renews its appeals to the international community to put pressure on Russia to stop its aggression against the Syrians, and to find a political solution to end the Syrian crisis that completed its tenth year, without any near-future solution to stop the machine of murder that shed the blood of thousands and displaced millions of the Syrians internally and externally.