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Map of Military Situation in Syria on 9 February 2018

Syrian government forces liberated the entire northeastern Hama pocket from ISIS following a series of security operations in the area. A part of the ISIS terrorists had been able to break the encirclement and withdraw to the province of Idlib where they captured the villages of Umm Khalakil, Luwaybidah and Musharifah from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra) and its allies.

Meanwhile, clashes continued between government forces and militants in Damascus’ Eastern Ghouta region. The situation also remained tense in the Euphrates Valley where the US-led coalition had recently struck positions of the Syrian Army.

Syrian War Report, 9 February 2018: Syrian Army Purged Daesh Terrorists in Northeastern Hama

The Syrian Arab Army (SAA), the Tiger Forces and their captured Ibn Wardan Qastel and the large nearby area in the northeastern Hama pocket after the ISIS defense had collapsed there. According to pro-government sources, army troops are now close to full liberation of the area.

Government forces are also working to evacuate civilians and to remove IEDs and mines from the recently liberated villages.

Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra) and its allies failed to overrun the SAA defense in the area of Abu al-Duhur and their attack resulted in almost no gains. Pro-government sources say that the militant groups lost about a dozen of fighters and two vehicles in the recent clashes.

Separately, the Syrian military increased airstrikes on positions of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, Jaysh al-Islam, Ahrar al-Sham and Faylaq al-Rahman in the districts of Irbin, Duma, Harasta, Madira, Mesraba, Zamalka and Saqba in eastern Damascus. Local sources link this activity with the facts that the militants rejected a ceasefire agreement reached during the Vienna talks.

Meanwhile, the Arab al-Bakara tribe announced in an official statement that dozens of its members were killed in the coalition strikes. The statement added that al-Bakara is ready to fight ISIS, the SDF and the US-led coalition.

The situation revealed the high level of tensions existing in the Euphrates Valley region. These tensions may be used by ISIS to resume its terrorist activities in the area... … …(…read more…)…

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