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What Happened Over the Weekend in Syria

Russian warplanes targeted opposition positions; a rocket attack killed 10 government soldiers and wounded nine more in the northwest; Kurdish militants fired rockets and mortar shells from Syria on a Turkish military border post; Putin has begun moving troops from Syria to Ukraine
What Happened Over the Weekend in Syria

President Bashar al-Assad on Friday sent two cables of condolence to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al -Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, the Ruler of Dubai, and Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces over the death of UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Assad said, according to SANA, that the deceased had a great impact on the rebirth of the United Arab Emirates and the great prestige it has achieved, and the Emirati people and the Arab peoples will always remember his deeds and generosity.

Russian warplanes targeted on Saturday positions of the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army (SNA) west of Aleppo. A Syrian opposition military source told North Press that a Russian warplane pounded the SNA positions near frontlines with the government forces in the western countryside of Aleppo with two airstrikes using high-explosive vacuum missiles. The airstrikes coincided with intensive flight by three Russian warplanes and a reconnaissance drone over the targeted area.

A rocket attack targeting a military bus in Syria killed 10 soldiers and wounded nine more in the northwest on Friday, SANA reported, in a deadly flare-up near the frontier with rebel-held territory close to the Turkish border.  The bus was hit in the Anjara area west of Aleppo at 9:30 a.m. (0630 GMT), SANA said. Militants had targeted the vehicle with an anti-tank rocket, it added, giving no further details. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Kurdish militants fired rockets and mortar shells from Syria in an attack on a military border post in southeast Turkey on Thursday, wounding four Turkish soldiers and a civilian, the Turkish Defense Ministry said. It said the Turkish military carried out retaliatory fire against targets in the Kobani region of northern Syria from where the attack was made, Jerusalem Post reported. Such incidents of cross-border fire have occurred sporadically in past years during the war in Syria. The five people wounded in Turkey, in the Karkamis district of Gaziantep province, were taken to hospital for treatment, the ministry said.

Russian president Vladimir Putin has begun moving troops from Syria to Ukraine to help in the Battle for Donbas, reports have claimed. Military forces are being moved from Syria where the Kremlin had thousands of troops based since 2015 when Vladimir Putin ordered his fighters to support president Bashar al-Assad. The Moscow Times reported that these troops are being stationed at three airports in Ukraine before being transferred to the frontline to increase Russia’s presence as fighting in the southeast increases.

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