FTO activities in Syria
Throughout September, low-intensity fighting was observed in a number of governorates of the country.
On September 12 in Aleppo governorate, Syrian army troops stopped militants’ attempts at capturing the forward lines of government forces in the west of the governorate and in the south of Idlib. This was stated in a statement by the SAR Ministry of Defense, broadcasted by the SANA agency. “The enemy repeatedly attacked army positions, but Syrian soldiers repelled those attacks and inflicted significant losses on the militants,” the report stated. It also noted that troops operating in the western areas of Aleppo “conducted a preventive operation, destroying members of a terrorist group that was orchestrating an armed attack.”
On September 20, fighting resumed between the Ha’yat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) group and pro-Turkish armed forces in the north of Aleppo governorate. As the Al-Mayadeen TV channel reported, the terrorists captured the Al-Hamran checkpoint and blocked the highway between the cities of Manbij and Jarablus during their offensive. As a result, the 2nd brigade of the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) was surrounded. According to the TV channel, Turkey transferred military reinforcements and armored vehicles to Jarablus, fearing that HTS would further send a group of forces to Aazaz village near the border, where Turkish military bases are stationed.
On September 3, militants fr om pro-Turkish formations infiltrated the position of the Syrian army in Hasakah governorate, as Syrian newspaper Al-Watan reported. According to the media, the incident occurred in one of the villages near Tell Tamer settlement. During the clash, five Syrian soldiers were killed. The military managed to regain control of the position. Besides, 18 militants were eliminated.
On September 6, in Idlib governorate, Syrian troops fought with militants that attacked their positions in the south of the region. As Al-Hadas TV channel reported, the enemy tried to break through the defenses of government forces on the front between the villages of Al-Malaja and Hazarin. Four soldiers were killed while repelling the militants' attack, the TV channel stated.
On September 10, it was announced that the Syrian army’s artillery carried out massive strikes on the bases of militants in the governorates of Idlib and Hama in response to repeated violations of the ceasefire by militants in the northern de-escalation zone. This was stated by the SAR Ministry of Defense and broadcasted by the SANA agency. As a result of the strikes, 111 militants were eliminated and more than 80 were injured. It was indicated that the military operation was carried out after several attempts by the enemy to capture the defensive lines of government forces on the front between El-Malaja and Hazarin villages. Syrian soldiers were killed while repelling these attacks. The activity of militants from Ansar al-Tawhid, associated with H’ayat Tahrir al-Sham group, has increased noticeably since the beginning of 2023. Terrorists regularly carried out attacks on settlements in the Sahl al-Ghab valley, which are under the protection of the Syrian army. The victims of their shelling were 83 civilians, including 29 children and 11 women.
On September 18, Syrian army artillery hit command posts and rear bases of militants in the mountainous area of Jebel ez-Zawiya in the south of Idlib governorate. As Al-Watan newspaper reported, one of the strikes hit the headquarters of the Ansar al-Tawhid brigade, fighting on the side of the Tahrir al-Sham group. As a result of a direct hit, dozens of terrorists were eliminated.
On September 25, Syrian army fighters shot down an explosive-bearing unmanned aerial vehicle which was used by HTS fighters. As the Al-Watan newspaper reported, the drone was destroyed in the sky over the Sahl al-Ghab valley in Hama governorate. According to the media, government artillery, in response to ceasefire violations, struck bases of terrorists in the south and east of Idlib governorate. Command posts, fortifications and ammunition depots in Kensafra, Al-Futeir, En-Neirab and Es-Sufuhan were destroyed, and the enemy suffered losses in manpower and equipment.
On September 28, Syrian army artillery fired rockets and mortars at HTS bases in the south of Idlib governorate. As Al-Watan newspaper reported, government forces launched strikes against the enemy in response to repeated ceasefire violations by militants. According to the publication, terrorists attacked in the morning settlements in the Sahl al-Ghab valley (Hama governorate), which are under the protection of Syrian troops. As a result, material damage was caused to residential buildings and infrastructure, and five people were injured.
On September 1, Syrian army fighters blocked the path of a HTS detachment that tried to enter Latakia governorate to commit sabotage. As the Al-Hadas TV channel reported, during the clash with terrorists in the mountainous region of Jebel al-Akrad, 9 military personnel were killed; no information was provided about losses among the enemy.
Syrian artillery struck back at the Nahiya district in western Idlib governorate from wh ere the attack was carried out.
On September 16, HTS militants used an anti-tank missile system to fire at Syrian military positions in Latakia governorate, killing three soldiers.
On September 8, SDF special forces carried out an operation against terrorists in the north of the center of Raqqa governorate. This was reported by the Firat agency. According to them, Kurdish fighters were dropped fr om US Air Force helicopters near the house wh ere one of the leaders of the Islamic State (IS) in Syria, Abu Amir ad-Diab, was hiding. After a short firefight, they managed to capture the terrorist who was responsible for financing IS subversive groups in Syria, Iraq and other Arab countries.
On September 10, at least 9 Syrians became victims of a bunch of terrorists from the ISIS group in the east of Deir ez-Zor governorate. This was reported by Al-Modon news portal. According to the media, militants made an armed attack in the Ash-Shula oasis, stealing a flock of sheep from local residents. Shepherds and members of the local defense forces tried to resist them. After an unequal battle, six defense forces’ members and three shepherds were shot dead by the terrorists, who fled the scene, taking with them five hostages and livestock.
On September 27, the Russian Aerospace Forces attacked terrorist targets in the area of the settlements of Halluba and Al-Ankawi in Idlib governorate. Production workshops and storage sites for unmanned aerial vehicles used by militants to attack positions of Syrian government forces and civilians were destroyed together with underground terrorist hideouts.