Small Wars Journal

Syria Military Hails Advance Against Rebels in 'Record Time

Syria Military Hails Advance Against Rebels in 'Record Time' by Albert Aji – Associated Press

Syria's military announced on Monday that its troops have regained control of territories in northwestern Syria “in record time,” vowing to continue to chase armed groups "wherever they are."

The announcement came hours after troops consolidated the government's hold over the key Aleppo province, capturing over 30 villages and hamlets in the western countryside in one day and securing the provincial capital that had for years remained within range of opposition fire…

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Turkey, Russia Standoff in Syria Leaves Millions of Refugees Caught in Chaos by David Gauthier-Villars and Nazih Osseiran – Wall Street Journal

Turkey dispatched a delegation to Moscow on Monday for another round of talks aimed at forging a cease-fire agreement in Syria, where relief agencies warn that a deadly vortex of proxy wars could cause the worst humanitarian disaster in the nine-year conflict.

At stake is control of Idlib province, a patch of land the size of Delaware that is the last stronghold of Turkish-backed rebels resisting the regime of President Bashar al Assad, which is backed by Russia.

The battle for Idlib represents a test for Turkey’s geopolitical gambit to reposition itself away from the U.S. and other allies in the North Atlantic military alliance, and closer to Russia, notably with the purchase of sophisticated Russian-made air-defense missiles—a deal which has upset the Pentagon…

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Syria Conflict: UN Says Idlib Displacement 'Overwhelming' Relief Effort – BBC News

The aid operation in north-eastern Syria is being "overwhelmed" as the number of people displaced by the government offensive in Idlib rises, the UN said on Monday.

Since early December 900,000 people have been forced to flee, most of them women and children, it said.

The UN added that health facilities and schools were being targeted.

The warning came as President Bashar al-Assad vowed to continue army operations in northern Syria.

"The battle for the liberation of the provinces of Aleppo and Idlib continues," he said, after his forces made new advances over the weekend…

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