National Army and HTS exchange prisoners in Aleppo; Turkish security arrests 13 suspected HTS members
Local and field updates:
On Saturday, the National Army of the Free Syrian Army released three Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) fighters west of Aleppo, Northern Syria, in exchange for five National Army fighters.
The spokesman for the National Army, Major Yusuf Hammoud, told SMART that the exchange followed direct negotiations with the HTS.
Activists told SMART that a Turkish military convoy left Jindayris in northern Aleppo and headed to the al-Ghazawi crossing near the village of Deir Samaan. The HTS gained control of Deir Samaan after clashes with the Free Syrian Army (FSA).
On Saturday, the Ishraq Development Team organized a demonstration in the town of Urum al-Kubra (20 kilometers west of Aleppo) to raise awareness about heritage sites in the Syrian government forces-controlled city of Aleppo.
Heavy rainfall damaged more than five thousand square kilometers of farmland in the al-Ghab Plain area in western Hama, Central Syria.
On Saturday, Musab al-Ashqar, a member of the Governorate Council of Hama, told SMART that the heavy rainfall damaged more than 5 thousand square kilometers of cultivated land in the al-Zyara area, due to the lack of networks to transfer water to the al-Asi river.
The price of meat increases by 25 percent in the Syrian government forces-controlled city of Hama
On Saturday, a meat merchant reported that the price of one kilogram of red meat reached 4,500 Syrian pounds after ranging between 3,500 and 3,600 SYP earlier, adding that meat prices increased due to an increase in the price of animal feed and the costs related to the export of meat.
The Kurdish People’s Protection Units arrested 33 people in the Haws area east of al-Raqqa on charges of dealing with the IS and communicating with the Syrian government forces according to a source from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
On Saturday, the Initial Response Team (IRT) retrieved 12 dead bodies from three neighborhoods in the city of al-Raqqa, Northeastern Syria.
The Transportation Committee of the al-Raqqa Civil Council issued a decision to deport four vehicles from the areas controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces, Northern and Northeastern Syria.
On Saturday, the Syrian government forces killed a civilian and injured two others in the Quneitra governorate, Southern Syria.
Political and International updates:
On Sunday, Turkish security forces arrested 13 people suspected of belonging to the HTS after an arrest campaign in the city of Adana, Southern Turkey.
Security sources told Anatolia News Agency that they raided homes in Adana and arrested 13 people suspected of entering Syria, participating in clashes, recruiting members and providing financial and logistical support to the HTS.
The Israeli Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot announced that Israel launched thousands of attacks on Iranian militias and locations in Syria, without claiming responsibility for the attacks.
In an interview with the New York Times Eisenkot said that since November 2017, Israel has carried out thousands of attacks against Iranian targets in Syria without claiming responsibility for the attacks, until now. He added that the attacks are part of a campaign against military convoys and locations of the Hezbollah militia since 2011. The series of attacks did not directly target Iranian assets.
The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expressed his optimism about ensuring the protection of Kurds in Syria, while allowing Turkey to defend its people and border.
On Saturday, Pompeo told reporters accompanying him on his Middle East tour that the US recognizes the right of the Turkish people and its president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to defend their country from terrorists. However, he added, “but we also know that those who fought with us throughout this time deserve to be safe too,” in reference to the Syrian Democratic Forces.