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Government forces and the Russian Military Police have kicked off a joint security operation in the Eastern Ghouta region near Damascus. In particular, the operation targeted Jisreen, Mohammedia, al-Aftaris, al-Nashabiyah and Marj al-Sultan where a notable number of weapons and equipment was abandoned by militants after the defeat suffered from the Syrian Army in 2018. According to reports, locals, many of them former members of militant groups, who opted to reconcile with the Damascus government, are assisting the operation with information about possible locations of hidden weapon caches. The Russian Aerospace Forces have deployed at least four Su-25 attack aircraft at Hmeimim Airbase, according to recently released satellite images. The Su-25 Grach is a single-seat, twin-engine, close air support jet developed in the USSR by Sukhoi. The jet’s latest variant, the Su-25SM3, is equipped with the advanced tactical EW suite Vitebsk-25, the SOLT-25 day\night electro-optical targeting system, a new encrypted communications system, and an updated navigation system. Experts link the deployment of close-air-support jets with the increased tensions within the Idlib de-escalation zone. The demilitarized zone agreement has in fact failed and even Turkish patrols in the area do not stop militants from attacks on areas controlled by the Damascus government. Additionally to this, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) continued releasing public threats against the Syrian government and the Russians.