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Executive Summary for April 28th

We review the key developments in Syria, including Israel reportedly shooting down a target, Turkey saying it will respond as necessary to threats on its borders and rebels clashing with each other in Eastern Ghouta as government forces advance.

Published on April 28, 2017 Read time Approx. 2 minutes

Israel Shoots Down Target Hours After It Reportedly Hit Syria

Israel’s Patriot anti-aircraft missile system shot down “a target” over the occupied Golan Heights, the Israeli military said on Thursday, according to BBC News.

Israel said it shot down “the target,” without confirming whether it was a drone, only hours after the Syrian government and Iranian-backed Lebanese Hezbollah militia accused Israel of missile strikes on a military position near the Damascus airport.

Israel did not confirm responsibility for the strike on Syria, but said it was “consistent” with its policy.

“I can confirm that the incident in Syria corresponds completely with Israel’s policy to act to prevent Iran’s smuggling of advanced weapons via Syria to Hezbollah in Iran. Naturally, I don’t want to elaborate on this,” intelligence minister Yisrael Katz told Israeli Army Radio.

Turkey Says It Will Retaliate As Necessary to Threats on Its Borders With Syria

Turkish forces will retaliate as necessary to serious mortar fire on the country’s southern border with Syria, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday, Reuters reported.

According to the Turkish army, forces of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) targeted Turkish border positions on Wednesday after Turkish warplanes had hit YPG headquarters. The YPG is the lead component in the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which are fighting against the so-called Islamic State. However, Turkey views the YPG as an extension of its own Kurdish insurgency, which has been fighting for autonomy since the 1980s.

“We will continue to take any measures as long as the threats persist … We will not allow efforts to form a terror corridor at our southern border,” Erdogan said, adding that U.S. support for the YPG was damaging the relationship between Ankara and Washington, but a new page could be turned with Donald Trump.

Rebels Fight Each Other as Government Forces Advance, Siege Continues

Rebel factions are fighting each other in the last rebel enclave outside the capital, according to the United Kingdom-based monitor the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).

The major factions in Eastern Ghouta are clashing intensely with each other as government forces continue to besiege the enclave and advance within rebel territory. The powerful Jaish al-Islam faction is attacking facilities belonging to the Rahman Legion and the Hayaat Tahrir al-Sham, al-Qaida’s former affiliate in Syria. At least eight fighters are confirmed dead and another 40 are injured, according to SOHR.

These clashes come almost a year after the last major rebel infighting, during which government forces were able to seize control of the rebels’ only agricultural territory, further tightening the siege.


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