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What Happened Over the Weekend

Regime and opposition forces clash, thousands of families flee, the new president of the EU Commission speaks with Erdogan and Russia continues construction of airbase. Catch up on everything that happened over the weekend.
What Happened Over the Weekend

1. At least 70 people have been killed in two days of clashes between regime forces and armed groups in Syria’s last major opposition bastion, according to a war monitoring group. The battles in the northwestern province of Idleb are the most violent there since a Russian-brokered ceasefire agreement went into effect in late August, said the head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. On Sunday, the Observatory put the death toll from fighting at 69 combatants since battles started the previous day.

2. About 2,150 Syrian families have fled their homes in Idleb province in the past 24 hours as regime forces wage a major offensive to take the last rebel stronghold in northern Syria, local monitoring group said Saturday. According to Syria Response Coordinators Team, at least 61,229 people have been displaced since the beginning of November. The regime army has been pressing to take a strategic territory located between Idleb and Lattakia province to cut the main supply route and weaken the unprecedented resistance by rebels.

3. On Sunday, the new president of the EU Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, called Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on her first day in office. According to Anadolu News Agency, the two discussed Turkey’s accession to the EU, the Mar. 18, 2016, agreement between the sides regarding support to the Syrians in Turkey, and the voluntary return of Syrians to the safe zone being established by Turkish administration in northern Syria.

4. The construction of Russia’s new air base in the northeastern city of Qamishli is underway with nine hangars built so far, according to satellite images, Zaman al-Wasl reported. The first group of Russia’s helicopters arrived at the northern Qamishli airport on Nov. 13, 2019, to conduct patrol missions, according to the Russian Defence Ministry. The Qamishli base was previously used by American troops until last month, when Turkey launched its two-week-long incursion into northern Syria.

5. SANA reported that on Sunday, Syrian Army’s units clashed with terrorist groups, which attempted to infiltrate into A’jaz village, inflicting heavy personnel and equipment losses upon them. The reporter added that the remaining terrorists fled towards the areas where they are positioned in the southeastern countryside of Idleb. The reporter indicated that army units thwarted an attack by terrorist groups on Kafraya village, and destroyed two cars bomb synchronizing with fierce clashes with the terrorists in the direction of Istablat and Rasm al-Ward in the southeastern countryside of Idleb, inflicting heavy losses upon the terrorists.


This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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