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Syrian Army encircles Daesh terrorists in Mayadin

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Syrian troops flash the V-sign from the side of a road on the outskirts of the city of Dayr al-Zawr in the country’s northeast on September 24, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Syria’s Army and its allies have encircled the Takfiri terror group of Daesh in the city of al-Mayadin in the country’s northeastern Dayr al-Zawr Province.

The Takfiri group maintains pockets in the province, and is said to be fighting a losing battle to retain the provincial capital of the same name, which is its last major stronghold in the Arab country.

"Units of our armed forces with the allied forces continue their advance on a number of fronts and axes in Dayr al-Zawr and its countryside...and encircle Daesh terrorists in the city of al-Mayadin," a military source told Reuters.

The Army and its allies reached Dayr al-Zawr in September after a months-long offensive across the country’s central desert area.

Separately, Syria’s War Media released a video on Monday showing the Army advancing against terrorist positions in the sprawling central Homs Province, while Syrian jets were carrying out umbrella operations overhead.

Turkey, HTS firefight

Also on Sunday, the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said Turkish forces had exchanged fire with the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) Takfiri group on the border with Syria’s Idlib Province.

The HTS is dominated by Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, which has renamed itself from al-Nusra Front -- the al-Qaeda’s Syria offshoot.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Saturday that militants supported by his country would be leading a military campaign against the HTS in the northwestern province.

Speaking of the pending operation, a commander with the militants said, "The aim of the operation is to implement the Astana agreement by setting up Turkish observation posts similar to those of Russia."

"This cannot be achieved without confronting the Nusra Front," said Fares al-Bayoush in an exchange of text messages with The Associated Press, noting, "The aim is to finish Nusra Front."

Turkey, who sides with the militants, and Russia and Iran, who back the Syrian government, have been mediating talks between Damascus and Syria's political and armed opposition in the Kazakh capital of Astana since early 2017.

The talks have led to establishment of four de-escalation zones in the Arab country towards curtailing violence.

The fourth zone is located in Idlib, with its perimeter marked out only on paper.

The aim of the Turkish operation on Sunday still remains unclear, with the country's officials not indicating whether it is part of their preparation for de-escalation activities. 


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