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The Syrian Arab Army and its Russian support are unrelenting in their attempts to contain militants in both the central region, as well as in Greater Idlib.
On June 23 and 24, warplanes of the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) carried out more than 60 airstrikes on ISIS cells in Syria’s central region.
The VKS’ airstrikes were carried out in support of the Syrian Arab Army’s (SAA) 5th Crops.
Just days earlier, the Syrian unit launched a combing operation between western Deir Ezzor and eastern Homs.
On June 23, two Syrian soldiers were killed and seven others were wounded when they were ambushed by ISIS cells in the al-Abyad valley near the ancient city of Palmyra in the eastern Homs countryside.
A day later, a landmine planted by the terrorists killed four pro-government fighters and injured six others near the town of Rasm Ghazali in the eastern countryside of Hama.
On the same day, the SAA killed more than 14 ISIS militants during combing operations in the deserts of Hama and Homs.
The containment and anti-terrorist operations are also active in Greater Idlib that is de facto controlled by Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS).
The operations by the SAA and its Russian support are against HTS, other Al-Qaeda affiliates, as well as Turkish-backed factions.
On June 24, warplanes of the VKS carried out at least three airstrikes on the western outskirts of Idlib city.
The airstrikes targeted buildings and fields in the village of Ein Shib.
The Russian airstrikes coincided with intense shelling by the SAA on the al-Zawiya Mountain and in other areas in the southern countryside of Idlib.
In Syria’s Greater Idlib, where the SAA is fighting against the al-Qaeda-affiliated Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP) among others, some support is also reportedly coming from a rarely-seen-player – China.
An SAA officer told Syrian media that China had supplied equipment to the army’s 3rd Armored Division and the 25th Special Forces Division.
Both units are deployed on the Greater Idlib main frontlines.
The TIP, made up mainly from Chinese Uyghurs, has been active near the town of Jisr al-Shughur in northwestern Idlib, the town of Kabani in northern Lattakia and in the al-Ghab Plains in northwestern Hama.
It is a close ally of HTS.
Over the last few years, several reports claimed about an immanent Chinese military intervention in Syria on the side of the Damascus government.
None of these have turned out to be true, but still some Chinese support is there.