Russia actions raised concerns after reportedly redeploying artillery units and personnel to the vicinity of Aleppo City, according to senior U.S. officials. The deployments come amidst a major breakdown in the Geneva III Talks. Meanwhile, the Syrian Kurdish YPG and its affiliated Asayish internal security forces engaged in heavy clashes with pro-regime forces in Qamishli in Hasaka Province following an altercation at a pro-regime checkpoint.
Syria Situation Report
Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi announced that Russia and Syria are preparing a joint operation to seize Aleppo City on April 10. This map marks the return of ISW's Syria SITREP in partnership with Syria Direct.
Russia has continued its air campaign in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, despite the ongoing cessation of hostilities agreement that began on February 27. Russian airstrikes concentrated in opposition-held areas of northwestern Syria on February 28, following a lull in Russian airstrikes on February 27.
The Russian air campaign in Syria enabled strategic gains in the regime’s longstanding effort to buffer its coastal heartland in Latakia from January 23 - 25. Russian strikes targeted opposition-held positions along the frontline in both Jebel al-Akrad and Jebel Turkmen mountain ranges in Northern Latakia, facilitating the regime’s seizure of the town of Rabi’ah.
The Russian air campaign continued to concentrate in Deir ez-Zour Province on January 20 - 22 in response to recent ISIS advances against regime forces in the northwestern outskirts of Deir ez-Zour City. Russia’s increase in strikes in Eastern Syria coincides with reports of the deployment of approximately one hundred Russian soldiers and engineers to the Qamishli International Airport in Northeastern Syria.