What Happened Over the Weekend

Drone shot down by Syrian Arab Army, Turkey says it is unable to accept more refugees, regime airbases revealed and Idleb bombardment kills 20 civilians. Catch up on everything that happened over the weekend.

1. The Syrian Arab Army has reportedly shot down a drone launched by Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists near the Hama military airport. A SANA reporter said that on Saturday, the army’s anti-aircraft defenses shot down a drone launched by terrorists before it reached its target, adding that the drone was loaded with rockets containing explosive materials and equipped with a GPRS controller and a shell launch system. In response to the repeated rocket attacks by terrorists positioned in the de-escalation zone targeting safe villages and towns and military points in the Hama countryside, the army units launched a series of strikes on al-Nusra Front and their supply routes in the countryside of Hama and Idleb.

2. The head of the Turkish Interior Ministry’s migration management department said his country is closely monitoring developments in Idleb and areas in Syria’s northwest. Asharq al-Awsat quoted Abdullah Ayaz as saying Turkey will not be able to receive more refugees flowing into Turkish territory if a major battle erupts in the city of Idleb between regime forces and the armed opposition factions. “Turkey’s capacity to host a new wave of migrants has almost reached its limits,” Ayaz told a meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean in Ankara earlier this week.

3. A military source in the Syrian Air Force said at least seven military airbases are invloved in the regime’s all-out assault on northwestern Syria, which so far has killed 400 civilians and has displaced more than 330,000. The source has provided Zaman Al Wasl with satellite images for the bases and helipads used for launching the major aerial offensive on Idleb and Hama provinces. The Syrian regime and Russia have upped their bombardment of the region since late April, killing more than 400 civilians, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham, led by ex-members of al-Qaeda’s former Syrian affiliate, extended its control over the region, which spans most of Idleb province as well as slivers of the adjacent provinces of Lattakia, Hama and Aleppo.

4. A brawl between two men in the northern city of al-Bab led to clashes between Turkish-backed forces, source told Zaman al-Wasl on Thursday. One man was killed and five more wounded in the infighting. Activists called on rebel commanders in the Euphrates Shield territory to avoid internal conflicts and to only pick up weapons to use against the Assad regime. 

5. On Thursday, a regime bombardment killed 20 civilians, including eight children and three rescue workers, in the jihadist-run northwest Syria, as fighting killed dozens on the edges of the anti-government bastion. The Kurdish website Rudaw reported that the Idleb region, home to some 3 million people, is supposed to be protected by a months-old international truce deal, but it has come under increased bombardment by the regime and its Russian ally since late April. The United Nations has warned that the spike in violence could spark one of the worst humanitarian disasters in Syria’s grinding eight-year conflict.


This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.


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