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BEIRUT, March 2. /TASS/. The Syrian government troops and people's militia detachments are fighting the Jabhat al-Nusra group terrorists 40 km south of the provincial center Hama. Syria’s SANA news agency reported that terrorist gangs infiltrated into the Hirbnafsah town sector and attacked military checkpoints there. During the clashes the Syrian troops killed 28 terrorists and injured dozens. There have been no reports about casualties among the government troops.
Gangs of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group have intensified activity in the northeast of Syria. The local newspaper Alwatan reports that the militants seized a power plant in the area of Mabruk near the town of Tel Tamer inhabited by the Assyrians, and blocked the Aleppo-Hasakah highway near the Nastell settlement.
According to Kurdish sources, Islamic State gangs have concentrated considerable forces north of Raqqa (520 km from Damascus) in the Al Quntari area and are preparing to launch an offensive. A major concentration of militants has been reported on the Turkish side of the border opposite to the Ras al-Ayn city west of the provincial center Hasakah.
On February 27, Islamic State gangs attacked the town of Tel Abyad, located 100 km from Raqqa on the border with Turkey. It is controlled by units of the Syrian Democratic Forces, the backbone of which is comprised of the Kurdish militia. Fierce fighting continues around Tel Abyad. The Kurds have accused the Turkish artillery of shelling their positions.
The ceasefire regimen in Syria has been effective since February 27. Truce does not apply to the terrorist organizations Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State (both organizations outlawed in Russia) and other groups declared terrorist by the UN Security Council. According to the Russian military, truce is being observed by and large, but 15 ceasefire violations had been registered on March 1.
Russia’s Aerospace Force started delivering airstrikes in Syria at facilities of the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist groups on September 30, 2015. The air group initially comprised over 50 aircraft and helicopters, including Sukhoi Su-24M, Su-25SM and state-of-the-art Su-34 aircraft. They were redeployed to the Khmeimim airbase in the province of Latakia. On October 7, Moscow also involved the Russian Navy in the military operation. Four missile ships of the Caspian Flotilla fired 26 Kalibr cruise missiles (NATO codename Sizzler) at militants’ facilities in Syria.