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Voiceover by Harold Hoover
The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies recaptured all positions, including Tulaysiyah, al-Sha’thah and al-Qahira, which they had lost as a result of the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) attack in northern Hama.
HTS lost its two T-90 main battle tanks that it had seized from the SAA in 2016. One was destroyed and another was recaptured by the SAA.
According to the Russian General Staff, airstrikes and artillery fire killed about 850 terrorists and destroyed 11 tanks, 4 infantry fighting vehicles, 46 pickup trucks, five mortars, 20 lorries, and 38 ammunition depots. Three service members of the Russian Special Operations Forces were injured during clashes.
The SAA liberated a large chunk of territory northwest of Deir Ezzor city, including the villages of Masrab, Turayf, Buwaytiyah, and Tibni as well as the Salim Mount. Government forces also continued advancing on the eastern bank of the Euphrates.
On September 20th, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced a new operation in order to capture the area of al-Suwar, to reach the border with Iraq, and to capture the area east of Deir Ezzor. Following the announcement, the SDF captured 12km of a highway towards al-Suwar.
Meanwhile, the SDF seized a grain storage area in the central part of Raqqah city and established a full control over the Tishreen, Rumaila, and Al Rawda neighborhoods. According to the SDF General Command, the group is in control of 80% of the city and is now developing momentum in the 17th Division Base sector.
According to pro-opposition sources, the US-led coalition’s airpower actively supports the operation, conducting over 50 airstrikes per day.
Pro-SDF sources argue that ISIS defense collapsed in the city and it will be liberated soon. When this is done, the SDF will be able to redeploy more forces for operations in eastern Syria.