South Front News

Heroic Death Of Russian Su-25 Pilot And Operation In Idlib On February 3, militants of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra) shot down a Russian Su-25 attack aircraft with a MANPAD, over the village of Khan al-Sabil in the Syrian province of Idlib. The attack aircraft was on a combat patrol, carrying out airstrikes on facilities belonging to the terrorist group in the area of Saraqib. The warplane’s pilot, Major Roman Filipov ejected before the plane crashed. Injured and

Syrian War Report – February 8, 2018: US-led Coalition Struck Syrian Army In Deir Ezzor On February 7, the US-led coalition carried out several airstrikes on positions of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in the province of Deir Ezzor. The coalition claimed that the SAA had “initiated an unprovoked attack against well-established Syrian Democratic Forces [SDF] headquarters”, added that “coalition service members” were co-located with SDF fighters during the attack and described the strikes as a self-defense act. According to local sources, the US

Syrian War Report – February 7, 2018: Syrian Army Liberates Dozens Villages From ISIS In Northeastern Hama Overnight on February 7, the Israeli Air Force fired three missiles at a target in the Damascus countryside. The strike was allegedly aimed at a technology research center in the Jemraya area. According to pro-government sources, the Syrian Air Defense Forces shot down at least one missile. Following the incident, the Syrian media accused Tel Aviv of supporting terrorists in Syria with these strikes and said that the attack

Flight Of White Swan: Tu-160 Fleet Modernization And Expansion On January 25, 2018, the Russian Ministry of Defense officially announced the contract for the modernization of 10 Tu-160 strategic bombers to the Tu-160M2 standard, to be fulfilled by the Kazan-based S.P. Gorbunov Aviation Plant belonging to the Tupolev Aviation Company, and with the aircraft to be delivered by between 2023 and 2027. The ceremony was marked by a test flight of the first thusly modernized aircraft, named Pyotr

Syrian War Report – February 6, 2018: YPG Sends Large Force To Combat Turkish Army In Afrin A large convoy of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) and the Sinjar Resistance Units (YBS) was filmed in the city Afrin overnight on February 6. The convoy reportedly consisted of over 100 vehicles, including buses. According to various sources, the total number of YPG/YBS fighters in the convoy was between 1,500 and 5,000, most likely the real number is about 2,000. This force will definitely participate in the ongoing

Syrian War Report – February 5, 2018: Su-25 Shootdown Marks New Round Of Escalation In Idlib On February 3, militants shot down a Su-25 warplane of the Russian Aerospace Forces with a man-portable air-defense system (MANPAD) over the village of Khan al-Sabil southwest of the city of Saraqib in the province of Idlib. Originally, Jaysh al-Nasr, a militant group that had been supplied with US-made TOW anti—tank missiles, claimed that its members had downed the warplane. Later, the media wing of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly

Syrian War Report – February 2, 2018: Militants’ Defense Collapsed In Eastern Idlib The Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) captured the town of Bulbul as well as the villages of Ali Kar, Za’ra and al-Ham from Kurdish YPG forces in the area of Afrin. According to pro-Turkish sources, over 24 YPG members were killed in the recent clashes. Pro-Kurdish sources claim that 20 members of Turkey-led forces were killed. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also said that

Syrian War Report – February 1, 2018: Tiger Forces Break Militants’ Defense In Eastern Idlib Government forces, led by the Tiger Forces, achieved a major breakthrough against Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) in the province of Idlib. Government troops liberated over 15 villages, including Mushayrifah, Tall Sultan and al-Tuwaym. This advance pursues two goals: to liberate the remaining militant-held area in southern Aleppo and to prepare an advance on Saqrib. Meanwhile, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and its allies started

Syrian War Report – January 30, 2018: SDF Sends Reinforcements To Afrin On January 29, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the Tiger Forces fully secured the town of Abu al-Duhur in eastern Idlib after a series of clashes with Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda). Meanwhile, pro-militant sources reported that the Syrian Air Force and the Russian Aerospace Forces started conducting airstrikes in the area of Saraqib in a move described as a preparation for

Syrian War Report – January 29, 2018: Turkish Forces Capture Key Mountain In Afrin The Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) and the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (TFSA) used their advantage over Kurdish YPG/YPJ forces in the area of Afrin and captured Bursaya Mount, Qastal Jundu and Yazibagh. Additionally, the TAF and the TFSA entered the area of Kevire Kerr Mountain where an intense fighting was reported. On other fronts, the YPG/YPJ was able to repel attacks by Turkish forces. The Turkish General Staff released

Jabhat al-Nusra: History, Capabilities, Role In Syrian War History Jabhat al-Nusra, originally Jabhat an-Nuṣrah li-ahli ash-Sham min Mujahideen ash-Shām fi Sahat al-Jihad or “Victory Front for the People of the Levant by the Mujahideen of the Levant on the Fields of Jihad”, was founded in January 2012, when military operations between the government forces and groups of armed Syrian opposition were in full force. Jabhat al-Nusra arose with the direct support of the Iraqi cell of al-Qaeda,

Syrian War Report – January 26, 2018: Turkey Threatens To Attack Manbij On January 25, ISIS units attacked positions of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in the villages of Kishmah and Ghuraybah in the province of Deir Ezzor. According to the ISIS-linked news agency Amaq, ISIS killed several army soldiers and destroyed two battle tanks with anti-tank guided missiles. However, the terrorist group did not overrun the SAA defense and was forced to retreat. According to the Syrian state-run media, 25

Syrian War Report – January 25, 2018: Syrian Army Prepares To Clear Abu al-Duhur Pocket The Syrian military is deploying reinforcements to northern Hama and eastern Idlib reportedly preparing to launch a military operation to clear the militant-held pocket there. According to pro-government sources, additional units of Liwa al-Quds and the Qalamoun Shield Forces have already been deployed there. The liberation of the pocket will allow the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies to eliminate the ISIS threat in the area and to

Syrian War Report – January 22, 2018: Abu al-Duhur Liberation, Operation Olive Branch On January 20, the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) officially launched a military operation in the area of Afrin and started conducting massive artillery and airstrikes on positions of Kurdish militias there. “‘Operation Olive Branch’ has been started on Jan. 20, 2018 at 5 p.m., in Syria’s northwestern Afrin region to establish security and stability on our borders and region, to eliminate terrorists of PKK/KCK/PYD-YPG and Daesh [ISIS], and to

Syrian War Report – January 19, 2018: Syrian Troops Almost Closed Eastern Idlib Pocket On January 18, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and Iranian-backed militias liberated the village of Qaytal fom Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra) in southern Aleppo and almost closed the eastern Idlib pocket. Late on the same day, ISIS reportedly captured thirty villages, including Rasm al-Dhaba, al-Muwaylah, abu Ajwa, Muakar Shamali, Huma, Najm Al-Zuhur, Umm Qurun and Rasm Arira, in northeastern Hama and southwestern Aleppo from Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham

Syrian War Report – January 16, 2018: Syrian Army Repelling HTS and ISIS Attacks In Eastern Idlib The situation in estern Idlib is rapidly becoming more and more complicated for government forces as both ISIS and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) are simultaneously pressuring the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies. On January 15, ISIS captured a dozen villages southwest of the Abu al-Duhur airbase and conducted several hit and run attacks on government troops in the areas of Uwayjat Qana and Rasm Khushuf. Separately, clashes

Syrian War Report – January 15, 2018: Syrian Army Liberates Dozens Villages In Southwestern Aleppo Russian forces eliminated a group of militants, which conducted the mortar attack on Hmeimim airbase on December 31, 2017, the Russian Defense Ministry announced on January 12. Russian forces used the 2K25 Krasnopol 152 mm laser-guided artillery munition to eliminate the group, according to the ministry. The ministry added that the Russian Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) uncovered a fixed-wing drone assembly and storage workshop in Idlib province. The workshop

Syrian War Report – January 12, 2018: Militants’ Counter-Attack In Southern Idlib Ends In Disaster On January 11, so-called “moderate opposition” groups operating in Idlib declared an official start of the operation to assist Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) in its effort to counter the ongoing advance of government forces in the area of Abu al-Duhur. Faylaq al-Sham, Nour al-Din al-Zenki, Jaish al-Nasr, Jaish al-Nukhba, Ahrar al-Sham, the Turkistan Islamic Party, the Free Syrian Army’s 2nd Army were

Syrian War Report – January 11, 2018: Syrian Army Launches Final Push To Capture Abu al-Duhur On January 11, the Tiger Forces, the Syrian Army (SAA) and the National Defense Forces (NDF) launched a final push to recapture the strategic Abu al-Duhur Airbase from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) in southern Idlib. Government forces reached the airbase on January 10 after capturing the villages of al-Baiyaiyah, al-Dabshiyah, Zafr Sagheer, Zafr Kabeer, Bayaa Kabeera, Bayaa Sagheera, Um jorah, al-Buwyti, Rasm Ayed and Um Jareen. Since then, intense

Syrian War Report – January 10, 2018: Militants’ Defense Collapses In Southern Idlib The Syrian Arab Army (SAA), the Tiger Forces and their allies have continued to advance in the Abu al-Duhur Airbase area in southern Idlib and have liberated the villages of Jakusiyah, al-Rahjan, Miraya, Tamakh, Miyal, al-Adiliyah and others from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda). According to pro-government sources, the SAA also started a bombing campaign against positions of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham in the