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Russia: Terrorists beefing up presence in two areas in Syria’s Idlib, step up attacks

In this file picture, foreign-sponsored militants attend a mock battle in anticipation of an attack by Syrian government forces in Idlib province and the surrounding countryside, during a parade of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) terrorists in the countryside of the northern Idlib province. (Photo by AFP)

The Russian Defense Ministry has warned that foreign-sponsored Takfiri terrorists in Syria's northwestern province of Idlib are moving military equipment and armored vehicles to two districts in the area, and have stepped up their mortar attacks on neighboring districts.

Deputy head of the ministry's Center for the Reconciliation of Opposing Sides in Syria, Rear Admiral Alexander Vadim Kulit, said on Friday that terrorists are transferring convoys of munitions to two districts in the province, and Syrian government forces have reported a sharp increase in the number of shells fired from those areas.

“Illegal armed groups in the southern part of Idlib de-escalation zone are moving militant units and armored vehicles to al-Saan and Majdaliya villages in Idlib province,” Kulit added.

“According to the command center of Syrian government forces, the number of attacks carried out by terrorists from the mentioned areas at Syrian troops’ positions in Rueiha, Jubas and Saraqib has sharply increased,” he pointed out.

On Thursday, the official spokesman for the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) Takfiri terrorist group was reportedly killed after the Syrian government forces struck militant positions in the southern part of Idlib province.

Local media outlets, citing informed sources requesting anonymity, reported that Abu Khalid al-Shami died along with Abu Mus’ab, the media relations coordinator of the terrorist group.

The Arabic-language Sham FM radio station reported at the time that the pair were killed after Syrian army artillery units pounded terrorists holed up in a mountainous area of al-Ziyanah region.

US-backed SDF militants seize agricultural lands in Hasakah

Separately, US-backed militants with the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have seized large areas of agricultural lands at al-Aresha refugee camp in the southern sector of Syria’s northeastern province of Hasakah.

Local sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, told official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) that SDF militants have forced people to sell their lands at low prices and expelled those who have refused to do so.

The sources added that the SDF militants intend to transfer refugees in the squalid al-Hawl camp in northern Syria to al-Aresha, and have razed part of irrigation canals from al-Basel dam south of Hasaka.

Security conditions are reportedly deteriorating in the areas controlled by the SDF in Hasakah and Dayr al-Zawr provinces amid ongoing raids and arrests of civilians by the US-sponsored militants.

Locals argue that the SDF’s constant raids and arrest campaigns have generated a state of frustration and instability, severely affecting their businesses and livelihoods.

Residents accuse the US-backed militants of stealing crude oil and failing to spend money on service sectors.

Local councils affiliated with the SDF have also been accused of financial corruption. They are said to be embezzling funds provided by donors, neglecting services and failing to meet the people’s primary needs.

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