Friday, 22 April 2016
INTERNATIONAL MILITARY REVIEW – SYRIA & IRAQ, APRIL 20, 2016
On April 20, ISIS militants launched an ofensive on the militant stronghold of Mar’e. The offensive was supported by VBIEDs attacks. Heavy clashes are ongoing in the town’s suburbs. Mar’e is one the last logistical hubs controled by militants in Northern Aleppo. It’s located south of the Bab Al-Salamiyah border-crossing into Turkey.
Meanwhile, ISIS units successfully advanced in the Deir Ezzor area capturing the al-Sina’ah district and some building blocks in the Industrial Center. The terror groups’ advances came amid the reports that the Syrian government canceled the offensive on Deir Ezzor due to escalation at other fronts.
On April 19, the Syrian military grouping, which remains in the Homs province, conducted an operation in order to liberate the Brigade 550 Base from ISIS. By the situation on April 20, the base is fully secured. This move increased the safety of the recently liberated city of Palmyra.
Abu Omar al-Qashi, a senior field commander of al-Nusra, was killed in intense infighting in the Yarmouk camp in the countryside of Damascus. In turn, ISIS accused al-Nusra of killing three of its fighters, including Abu Dawoud al-Yamani, the terrorists’ commander in the Yarmouk camp. Heavy firefights between Al Nusra and ISIS terrorists have been ongoing in the area since last week.
The SAA and allies have reportedly repelled the militants’ counter-offensive in the Eastern side of Kinsibba in Rweisat al-Malak, Nhashba, Tal Adho and the nearby areas of Akou region. Pro-goverment sources argue that Rweisat al-Malak is under the full control of the army and the terrorist groups faced major casualties.
Iraqi pro-government tribal fighters destroyed 3 ISIS command centers in the al-Zour area in the province of Diyala. Sources said they also seized large amounts of military equipment and ammunition, including rockets. During the past few months, ISIS had been using the al-Zour area as a foothold for attacks against nearby villages and regions.
Fresh reinforcements arrived in the Kabani front to join the pro-government forces’ operation against al-Nusra and its allies and to retake the strategic city of Jisr al-Shughour near the border with the Lattakia province. Sources argue at least 1,000 the Syrian Arab Army’s soldiers, trained by Russian military advisers, have been deployed there. We remember the SAA and allies recently launched an offensive on the town of Kabani in the Kurdish Mountains. It’s a part of the wider operation aimed on Jisr al-Shughour.
The Emir of Jeish al-Islam called at least nine militant groups: Ahrar al-Sham, Faylaq al-Sham, Ansar al-Sham, Sham al-Islam, Jeish al-Nasr, Jeish al-Eza’ah, Jeish al-Mujahidin, al-Firqa al-Shamaliyeh and al-Ferqa al-Owla Saheliyeh to deploy forces to Lattakia’s border with Idlib to take part in a joint operation against the loyalists. The coalition of these militant groups launched an operation in Lattakia codenamed Rad al-Madhalem. The goal of the operation is to drive back the Syrian army units from the border with Turkey and repel the offensive on Jisr al-Shughour. On Monday the militant coalition launched a counter-attack on the Syrian forces’ positions, however, it weren’t able to succeed.
Al-Qaeda-linked militants advanced in the Al-Ghaab Plains and captured the village of Khirbat Al-Naqous near the Hama-Idlib border. Then, the militants attepmted to storm the town of Haqoura, but hasn’t seized it. The SAA is deploying reinforcements to the area.
Amid the escalation on the border of Latakia province and in Aleppo City, the Syrian government reportedly delayed the long-awaited offensive through the Palmyra-Deir Ezzor highway and redeployed some part of the military grouping located there to other fronts.
Meanwhile, the Saudi-backed Syrian opposition has withdrawn from the Geneva peace talks amid the militants’ offensive operations. The Saudi-backed High Negotiations Committee accused the Assad government in violating the ceasefire and slammed the UN’s diplomatic mediator for “bias.”
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