FTO activities in Syria
Throughout April 2023, low-intensity fighting was observed in a number of governorates of the country.
On April 9, six civilians were killed by an explosion of a mine which was planted by militants of the Islamic State (IS) in Deir ez-Zor province. This was reported by Sham Radio Station. The blast took place near the border between Deir ez-Zor and Raqqa provinces. The victims were engaged in the traditional Syrian trade, collecting delicious truffles.
In Idlib governorate, on April 1, militants of the Islamic Party of Turkestan (IPT) made two attempts to break into the territory controlled by the Syrian army near Ed-Dana and Dzhubas settlements. When repulsing the attack of militants, one Syrian serviceman was killed, and another one was wounded.
On April 16, it became known that at least 32 people were killed as a result of an attack by IS militants in Syria. This was reported by al-Watan public newspaper. The victims of the terrorists were civilians who were collecting truffles. The tragedy occurred in the eastern part of the Salamiya district in the east of Hama governorate.
On April 15, in the Idlib de-escalation zone, one case of shelling and two drone attacks by the IPT group on the positions of the Syrian government forces in the vicinity of the settlements of Safsafa, Kara-Kilis and Kastal el-Borj in Latakia governorate were recorded. As a result of terrorist strikes, three Syrian soldiers were killed and two injured.
On April 4, Pentagon Central Command reported that the US military had killed an IS leader who orchestrated attacks in Europe. According to them, “US Central Command forces carried out an attack on April 3 in Syria, killing influential IS leader Khalid Aid Ahmad al-Jaburi,” the report said. It also noted that the terrorist was “responsible for planning IS attacks in Europe and developing IS leadership structures.” The Central Command indicated that the elimination of this IS terrorist “will temporarily disrupt the terrorist organization's ability to plan attacks abroad.”
On April 10, US-led international anti-terrorist coalition forces stationed at a base near the Conoco gas field in Deir ez-Zor governorate shot down a drone and repelled a missile attack. This was reported by the Al-Arabiya TV channel. According to them, the drone fell in the village of Al-Tabia. In addition, coalition forces shot down missiles aimed at the Conoco gas field. There were no reports of casualties or injuries as a result of the missile attack.
On April 17, the US Central Command announced the possible elimination of one of the Syrian IS leaders who was responsible for planning the attacks. According to the report, US forces carried out a helicopter raid in northern Syria that day, targeting an IS leader “in charge of planning terrorist attacks in the Middle East and Europe.” “The raid resulted in the probable death of [the IS fighter],” the report said. It was also noted that two more armed men were killed during the operation.
On April 30, it was announced that Turkish intelligence had eliminated the IS leader Abu al-Hussein al-Qureyshi in Syria. This was announced by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the air of the TRT-Turk TV channel. “Turkish national intelligence has been following IS leader Abu al-Hussein al-Qureishi for a long time. This person was eliminated the day before in Syria as a result of an operation carried out by Turkish intelligence,” Erdogan said. He also stated that Turkey will continue to counter terrorist organizations “without distinguishing between them.”