Russian intervention in Syria 70 months on | Nearly 80 airstrikes on “de-escalation zone”…eight patrols with the Turks in NE Syria
At a time when Russia’s plans are proceeding with their 70th consecutive month of involvement in the Syrian crisis, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has monitored and tracked the recent developments during the tenth month of the sixth year of the Russian intervention in Syria. These key developments can be summarized regionally as follows:
In July 2021, Russian and Turkish forces conducted eight patrols, four of which were in Ain al-Arab countryside (Kobani) in Aleppo province on July 6, 13, 19 and 26. These four patrols set off from Ashma village in the west of Ain al-Arab and toured the villages and towns of Jarqili Fuqani, Qarran, Dikmidash,Kharkhouri, Boban, Seftek, Joul Bek and Zour Maghar village which is opposite Jarabulus city which is under the control of Turkish forces and their proxies on the eastern bank of the Euphrates river, and it is the furthest village in Ain al-Arab countryside.
While the four other patrols toured al-Hasakah countryside on July 1, 8, 14 and 29. Three of these patrols set off from Sherik village in the west of al-Darbasiyyah and toured villages in al-Darbasiyyah and Amuda countryside, including Dalil, Qunaitarah, Qarmaniyah, Tel Kadish, Ghanamiyah, Karbatli, Tel Teri, Jadidah, Tel Karmah, Jaradi, Khasiki, Madourah, Khanki, Kharazah, Bahira and Jawhariyah.
While one patrol, which was on July 8, toured villages in al-Qamishli countryside, including Atabah, Shitka, Babasi, and the junctions of Kil Hasnak, Derna, Qalanka, Kardim, Tel Khatoul and Shalhoumiyah which is located between al-Jawadiyah and al-Qahtaniyah districts of Alyal area.
On the other hand, SOHR sources reported on July 2 that the Russian forces met a day earlier with members of al-Raqqah Civil Council and SDF commanders in Ain Issa area, the capital of the Autonomous Administration in northern al-Raqqah. During the meeting, the Russians asked to be allowed to enter al-Raqqah city and distribute food baskets to civilians. However, the members of al-Raqqah Civil Council and SDF commanders refused the Russians’ request for unknown reasons.
In the past month, Russian fighter jets escalated their airstrikes considerably, targeting various positions in the “de-escalation zone”, as over 80 airstrikes were executed on the region in 11 days, on July 3, 9, 10, 20, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, 28 and 29.
These airstrikes hit positions in Idlib, Hama and Latakia countryside, including Hursh Juzif, al-Bara and its surrounding areas, Kansafra, Ihsim, Mar’ya, al-Rouj al-Shamali station, Sheikh Youssif in Idlib province, Kabana and its surrounding areas and Berzeh in north Latakia countryside, and Duwayr al-Akrad in the western countryside of Hama.
In the 7th month of military operations in Syria, SOHR activists document the death of 16 ISIS members and injury of 19 others in more than 800 Russian airstrikes on their positions in the Syrian desert, mostly killed in al-Raqqah desert, Deir Ezzor, Homs and 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.