'War of Attrition': Fighting intensifies in Syria's Idlib Province


Fighting is continuing in northwestern Syria as the Syrian Government and Opposition continue what is being described as a war of attrition amidst minimal gains being made by either side.

Fighting is ongoing in Syria’s northwestern Idlib Province between the Syrian Regime and Opposition forces with the fighting showing few signs of abating.

On Monday, the Syrian Army continued its assault on Tal Malah, a strategic hilltop area in northern Hama, although this was repelled by Opposition forces, with Syrian Army positions subsequently shelled in nearby Kafr al-Houd.

Tal Malah has witnessed back and forth clashes over the past weeks with both sides repelling each others’ offensives.

Over the weekend, further airstrikes were reported in Kafr Zita, Zakat, Hobait, Khan Sheikhoun, Naquir, Rikaya, Ma’arat Hormah and Ma’ar Sina.

Further north, around Aleppo, SAA artillery targeted Khalsa and Hraitan while the rebels shelled the Artillery College in western Aleppo.

With the clashes entering their third month and with either side making minimal gains, observers have noted that the fighting now resembles a war of attrition.

Approximately 400 civilians have been killed since the end of April with 330,000 others displaced from their homes, in particular around the fault lines of northern Hama and southern Idlib. A reported 26 hospitals have been damaged or badly destroyed by Regime aircraft.

Amidst these developments, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters from Osaka on Saturday that he hoped there would not be a repetition of the events of the last week, when a Turkish soldier was killed and three others soldiers wounded by a Syrian Army artillery shell at one the Turkish-monitored observation posts.

In the aftermath, the region witnessed heavy air activity and one drone flying over the Turkish Army was shot down.

Erdogan also announced that there will be a new trilateral summit between Turkey, Russia and Iran to discuss Syria.