On December 4, the Syrian Arab Army repelled an attack by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham from the village of Umm al-Tinah in southeastern Idlib. The terrorist group’s news agency claimed that at least 10 soldiers were killed and 20 others were injured in the clashes despite the militants’ inability to capture the village. Nonetheless, no evidence confirming these claims was provided.
Earlier, government forces made an attempt to advance towards the village of Umm al-Timah. Their push also resulted in no notable gains.
On December 3, a senior commander in Hayat Tahrir al-Sham was killed in a supposed drone strike in the town of Atmeh in northern Idlib. Abu Ahmad al-Muhajir an Algerian national that joined al-Qaeda in Syria in 2013, and another person died, when a precision guided munition hit their vehicle. Local sources claim that the used weapon was a US-made AGM-114R9X Hellfire missile. Nonetheless, photos from the ground do not allow to confirm this with a high degree of confidence. Al-Muhajir reportedly was the main trainer of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham’s special forces known as the “Red Bands.”
On December 4, at least 2 people were killed and 6 others were injured in a car bomb explosion in the Turkish-occupied town of Ras al-Ayn. Milad al-Mahmoud, a military commander in the Turkish-backed Hamza Division, claimed that the explosion took place ahead of a pre-planned meeting of military commanders in the area.
Bombing attacks and other security incidents erupt in the Turkish-occupied area in northern Syria. Last month, more than 60 civilians and Turkish-backed militants were killed or injured in a large explosion that rocked the town of Tell Halaf near Ras al-Ayn. Turkish sources accuse Kurdish armed groups of carrying out these attacks.
The Syrian Air Defense Forces have deployed at least one Pantsir-S1 air defense system to the area of Ayn Issa. The system was filmed escorted by units of the Syrian Army, the Russian Military Police, and 2 attack helicopters. It will likely be used to secure the coordination and humanitarian assistance center established by the Russians in the town.