Via – Zero Hedge

Multiple developments related to Russia’s military role in Syria mean that the years-long conflict could once again become front and center for Washington during 2020.

First, this week Russia and Syria conducted rare joint naval drills in the eastern Mediterranean at a moment Russian jets significantly increased airstrikes on jihadist-held Idlib province, reportedly conducting hundreds of missile strikes in the last five days, with regional reports saying Russian warships in the Mediterranean are firing sea-launched rockets as well. 

A Syrian government assault on southern Idlib is being given air support through the major uptick in Russian air raids, sending tens of thousands of civilians fleeing as the combined force seeks to push back the al-Qaeda group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS).

“The UN humanitarian agency OCHA said tens of thousands of civilians have fled southern Idlib since Monday and headed north for safety, while thousands more were waiting for the violence to abate to leave,” France24 reports

And the UN agency OCHA described that “Following the intensification of air strikes and shelling since 16 December in southern Idlib, tens of thousands of civilians are reportedly fleeing from Maaret al-Numan area in southern Idlib governorate to (the) north.”

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