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Syrian troops gain more ground in Homs
Syrian Army continues push against Daesh near Palmyra
Syrian War Report – March 20, 2017: Govt Forces Fight ISIS In Homs, Hama And Aleppo
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The Syrian army troops continued their anti-terrorism operations in the Eastern parts of Homs province, stretching their chain of security around the ancient city of Palmyra (Tadmur).
The army soldiers liberated the mountains on the Northern side of al-Mazar mountain in their operations near Palmyra on Sunday.
The army troops could also win fire control over al-Heram mountain.
The Syrian army has advanced in vast areas in Palmyra region in recent days and seized al-Mazar and al-Mustadireh mountains and adjacent areas.
Also in the past 24 hours, the Syrian media reported that more than 1,400 militants who rejected the government’s peace offer have left al-Wa’er district in Homs province along with their family members.
Over 1,400 gunmen and members of their families have left al-Wa’er neighborhood in the Western outskirts of Homs city for the Northern part of Homs province as part of the reconciliation agreement that was reached in the neighborhood, paving the way for the return of all state services.
432 gunmen who rejected the reconciliation agreement and 1,056 of their family members have headed towards the Northern territories of Homs.
Homs Governor Talal al-Barazi said that the governorate has completed all logistical preparations and measures for getting the first group of the gunmen out of al-Wa’er in the framework of the reconciliation agreement which was agreed upon last week.
The Governor added that the first group includes the evacuation of more than 1,500 gunmen and members of their families who would go to the Northeastern countryside of Aleppo province, pointing out that the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) and the Syrian and Russian military police supervise the process.
The Governor denied reports circulated by some media outlets “which are involved in the bloodshed” in Syria that a demographic change is planned for al-Wa’er neighborhood.
“These lies are a desperate attempt aimed at sabotaging the reconciliation agreement of al-Wa’er neighborhood in particular and the process of successive reconciliations in general,” al-Barazi underlined.
He clarified that over 40,000 people will stay in the neighborhood after all the gunmen who reject the reconciliation leave along with their families, who are 10,000 people in total.
He stressed that the governorate is working on drawing up a comprehensive plan to secure the return of all the families that had earlier left their houses in al-Wa’er neighborhood after the evacuation process is completed and services are fully restored.
Secretary of Homs Branch of al-Baath Arab Socialist Party Ammar al-Sibaai noted that over 100,000 people are expected to return to their homes after the reconciliation agreement is fully implemented.
Commander of Homs Police Mag. Gen. Khaled Hilal said after the agreement is fully completed, al-Wa’er neighborhood will be declared secure, and consequently the whole city of Homs will be fully secured.
He added that units of the Internal Security Forces will be back on duty in al-Wa’er neighborhood once the agreement is accomplished, affirming that security will be established in the neighborhood and families will return to their home.
Also on Wednesday, the Syrian army intensified military operations in Eastern Homs after liberating Palmyra, and could advance in the outskirts of the ancient city.
The army units launched a fierce attack on ISIL moves and gathering centers in al-Talilah crossroad in the Eastern parts of Homs, killing several militants and destroying their military vehicles.
The Syrian soldiers also launched heavy offensives on ISIL in the Western parts of the crossroad and drove the terrorists out of several points near the region.
A field source reported that the army troops are now on the verge of regaining full control of this strategic point in Eastern Homs, and added that the army will start operations to take back al-Talilah village after seizing control over the crossroad.
The Syrian army continued military operations to establish security in the capital city and its outskirts, and drove the al-Nusra (Fatah al-Sham) Front terrorists out of more regions.
The army troops intensified military operations in the outskirts of Damascus to regain control of al-Qaboun and Barzeh districts and could seize back a big section of the Northwestern part of al-Hafez street in al-Qaboun district.
The victory was gained after fierce clashes with the terrorists that inflicted tens of casualties on the militants.
The army also captured the 1st Brigade headquarters of the terrorists, along with its corresponding Shari’ah Courts inside al-Qaboun.
Meanwhile, the Syrian soldiers destroyed a network of tunnels used by the terrorists to transport supplies from Eastern Ghouta to al-Qaboun.
The Syrian army forces warded off the terrorist groups’ heavy offensives against their positions in Jobar region.
The army soldiers defused the terrorists’ attempts in Jobar region who wanted to enter al-Abbasiyeen region’s parking lots.
A field source said that the militants were first trying to open their way by suicide attacks and detonating two bomb-laden vehicles.
“After the cars exploded, heavy clashes erupted between the Syrian army and the terrorists of the al-Nusra Front who sought to carry out suicide attacks but they couldn’t occupy the army’s positions in the region,” he added.
The source said that the Syrian fighter jets and missile and artillery units then heavily pounded the terrorists’ centers and drove them out of the region.
The Syrian army continued anti-ISIL military operations in Eastern Aleppo, expanding the range of its advances near Deir Hafer and retaking control of several villages.
The army units engaged in heavy clashes with the ISIL terrorists in Eastern Aleppo, and retook control of Ahmadiyeh village in the Northern parts of Deir Hafer.
They also seized back control of Um Tineh and al-Mabou’jeh in the Eastern and Western parts of Deir Hafer, respectively.
The Syrian army units targeted the gatherings and fortified positions of al-Nusra Front terrorists in Dara’a city and its countryside, killing a number of them and destroying their vehicles and weapons.
The army troops carried out special operations against al-Nusra terrorists in Dara’a al-Balad area in Dara’a city and in Tal Hamad and Nawa in the city’s Northern countryside.
The operations inflicted tens of losses on the terrorists and destroyed three of their military vehicles.
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The Iraqi Federal Police command said Monday its troops resumed advances towards a strategic mosque in western Mosul as operations continue to clear the region from ISIL militants.
The command said its forces proceeded towards Al-Hadbaa (leaning) Minaret at the Grand Nuri al-Kabir Mosque, where ISIL ringleader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi delivered a famous sermon in 2014, Iraqi News reported.
The statement said forces had killed 36 ISIL members and destroyed 13 booby-trapped vehicles.
Inclement weather over the past few days had added to the difficulties facing Iraqi troops eyeing the Old City, a strategic target where the mosque is located. The area’s narrow alleyways and the density of the civilian population therein had prompted Iraqi troops to rely solely on precision air and artillery strikes without advancing on the ground.
Iraqi government troops recaptured Eastern Mosul in January and are working to retake the Western side of the city, making a remarkable progress by recapturing major government facilities, the city’s airport and a major military base.