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Fierce clashes persist in Syria ahead of renewed peace talks.

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Jihadists and other rebel groups made advances against the Syrian army north of Hama on Thursday, a war monitor said, part of their biggest offensive for months, underscoring the bleak prospects for peace talks which resume later in the day. The assault coincides with clashes in the capital Damascus, where rebels and the army are fighting on the edge of the city center in the Jobar district for a fifth day amid heavy bombardment, state media and the war monitor reported. Increased fighting, despite a ceasefire brokered in December by Russia and Turkey, casts further doubt on peacemaking efforts in Geneva, where talks resume on Thursday after making no progress towards peace in recent rounds. “We hope to see some serious partner on the other side of the table”, Salem al-Muslet, spokesman for the opposition’s High Negotiating Committee (HNC), said in Geneva.


The Syrian Army making progress in the battle against terrorist organizations.

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The Syrian Army and Armed Forces continued making progress in the battle against terrorist organizations, establishing control over the Palmyra Triangle area in Homs province and targeting ISIS positions in Deir Ezzor. They are advancing in the direction of Palmyra Citadel, while engineering units are canvassing the Triangle area and dismantling IEDs and landmines left behind by terrorists to impede the army’s progress. The Syrian Air Force launched  on Wednesday intensive airstrikes on gatherings and supply lines for ISIS terrorists in Deir Ezzor city too. The airstrikes resulted in destroying fortifications and gatherings for the terrorist organization, leaving a number of terrorists dead or injured in the bricks factories area near of Liwa al-Tamin, al-Muhandeisen area in the vicinity of al-Tharda Mountain, and Hill 23 in the graveyard area.




Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu: “Turkey needs special forces troops for Raqqa”

The strategic hills overlooking the northern Syrian town of al-Bab were captured by the Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA), clashes have resumed for the town’s full control, the Turkish military said in a statement on Wednesday. Speaking at a press conference in capital Ankara, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said that the FSA have surrounded Al-Bab on all sides and clashes resume for full control of town. He added that coordination with U.S.-led coalition and Russia prevents possible clashes with Assad forces as their troops move closer to al-Bab from southeast. Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu said yesterday that Turkey and other regional powers should provide special forces troops for the eventual assault on Daesh’s Syrian stronghold, the city of Raqqa.

IS brought some Syrian army vehicles to the town of Annah

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Syrian army vehicles seized by Islamic State militants during battles with government forces in Syria are now seen in Anbar.
ISIS recaptured the historic city of Palmyra after intense battles with the Syrian government army which was backed by intensive strikes from Russian fighter jets a week ago.“Daesh (IS) have brought some Syrian army vehicles to the town of Annah,” said Nazem al-Jugheifi, an intelligence officer at Anbar’s popular mobilization forces. “They seized it after regaining control over the Syrian city of Palmyra,” he has said. ISIS militants still maintain holdouts at western Anbar regions.

Syrian Army put its active combat operations in Aleppo on hold to evacuate civilians

On the sideline of OSCE’s Ministerial Council, Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, affirmed that military activities in the Aleppo region were halted on December 8 only for a specific period of time in order to allow civilians to leave the city. Lavrov affirmed that Russia is looking for a solution that involves as few casualties as possible. On Thursday, the Syrian Army put its active combat operations in eastern Aleppo on hold to evacuate some 8,000 civilians. Lavrov added that he is hopeful about the upcoming talks on Syria in Geneva, saying there’s a good chance that an agreement can be reached regarding eastern Aleppo, provided that experts from the US actually show up in Switzerland. According to Lavrov, there is a good opportunity to strike an agreement with the United States on the withdrawal of all militants from eastern Aleppo at the meeting of experts on Saturday.

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