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FSA blocks Syrian government forces infiltration attempt in Western Aleppo; Turkey says US reactions to Turkish military operations in Syria do not matter

Editing: Obaida Al Nabwani |
TranslationEditor: Vera Halvorsen |
Translation: Maan Salti
Publication date: 2018/12/17 11:22

Field and local news:

The National Liberation Front (NLF) blocked an infiltration attempt by the Syrian government forces in the al-Rashidin and al-Zahraa neighborhoods, Western Aleppo, while the latter targeted the villages of the Western Aleppo countryside with artillery and missile shells.

A car bomb explosion killed eight civilians and injured about 20 others in the Souq al-Hal area near the Kawa Square in the city of Afrin, 43 kilometers north of Aleppo, Northern Syria. The critically injured were transported to Turkey for treatment.

The local council of the city of Jarabulus, Aleppo, announced closing the shops in the city's market (al-Bazar) until further notice due to the declining security situation.

Hasan Mustafa, a member of the Jarabulus local council's media office, told SMART that the council's decision aims to protect civilians, fearing that a terrorist attack or an explosion might target the market. Mustafa added that the decision is temporary, and will be lifted after increasing the security in the area.

In Central Syria, a drone bombed the village of Khirbat al-Naqous in the al-Ghab Plain area, Hama, on Sunday, injuring a member of the NLF, while the Syrian government forces bombed the towns of al-Lataminah and al-Ziyarah, the village of Maakrabah, and the perimeter of the city of Murik from nearby bases.

In Eastern Syria, an Islamic State (IS) attack on the town of al-Shola, Southwestern Deir al-Zor, killed four Syrian government forces members and injured three others. No information about IS casualties was reported.

On Sunday, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced killing 71 IS members during clashes near the town of al-Baghouz, Deir al-Zor.

Two infants died from respiratory diseases caused by last week's cold weather in the Rukban Camp for displaced people near the Syrian-Jordanian border.

In Southern Syria, 250 defected Syrian government forces members rejoined the forces after Russia assured them that they will not be prosecuted in the military court.

International and political news:

The Turkish Minister of Interior Suleyman Soylu said that Turkey did not wait for the United States' permission to launch the Olive Branch and Euphrates Shield operations in Syria. Soylu said that the US reactions to Turkish plans do not matter to Turkey, adding that Turkey launched the Olive Branch Operation in spite of US threats.

Earlier, the SDF met with the Syrian Peshmerga of the Kurdish National Council to discuss Peshmerga's deployment to SDF-controlled areas in Northern and Northeastern Syria.

Knowledgeable sources told SMART that the US supervised the meeting, which aimed to organize the deployment of the Peshmerga in the area, in an attempt to make Turkey retract its decision to launch a new military operation in the area east of the Euphrates River.

On Sunday, the Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir arrived in Damascus on an unexpected visit to the Syrian government. The Sudanese president's visit is the first visit by an Arab leader to Syria after the Syrian Revolution started in 2011.

Syrian government media outlets said that the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad received al-Bashir at the Damascus International Airport and accompanied him to the People's Palace to discuss the developments in Syria and the region.