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The Syrian Arab Army and its Russian support are perpetually carrying out their containment of ISIS in Syria’s central region.
On April 18th, Russian Aerospace Forces warplanes carried out at least 70 airstrikes on various terrorist targets in several areas.
Among the locations containing targets were the eastern countryside of Hama, the outskirts of the town of Resafa in the Raqqa countryside, and on the border between Raqqa and Deir Ezzor.
ISIS caves and bunkers were targeted, as well as the terrorists’ backline positions.
There was an unknown number of casualties.
This presumed sudden spike in activity followed a claim by ISIS that two Russian special forces operatives were killed in eastern Homs during a failed landing operation.
There was no official confirmation and no other evidence apart from ISIS’ claims.
Russia’s warplanes have, so far, been successful in their air raids.
There is an evident reduction in ISIS attacks on Syrian government forces, and many positions on strategic highways had been vacated.
To improve response time and operational effectiveness, Russian Forces are building a forward base with a helicopter landing zone along with a number of posts right on the border between Raqqa and Deir Ezzor in central Syria.
Russian forces have been working to strengthen their presence in Raqqa for a while.
A delegation of the Russian military visited the Tabqah Air Base in southern Raqqa, that is held currently by US-backed Forces.
Russian forces may soon move there.
Additionally, on April 18th, units of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), the de-facto ruler of the northwestern Syrian region of Greater Idlib, entered the town of Bosoufane in the Turkish-occupied area of Afrin.
The Al-Qaeda-affiliated HTS were on a mission to establish positions in the town.
Tensions were increasing as the group was attempting to capture the town and wrestle it away from the Turkey-backed National Front for Liberation (NFL).
The stand-off came to its end when the Syrian Arab Army shelled the militants.
HTS was trying to capture the town in order to open a direct smuggling route with Kurdish forces, which control a strip of land south of Afrin.
The militant group is constantly on the lookout to expand its influence, push ever further and gain more profit.
Turkey seems to tacitly support HTS’ expansion endeavors, as it is quite interested in the oil and gas smuggling to continue, as resource trafficking was heavily impeded by the Damascus government’s operations.
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