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Thursday, 30 June 2016

International Military Review – Syria, June 28/29, 2016

The situation remains tense in and around Aleppo City. After the liberation of the Mallah Farms, the Syrian Army troops are now deployed in only 1,5 km from the militants’ last supply line to Aleppo City – the Castello road. This poses a significant threat to Al Nusra and its allies in Aleppo. If pro-government forces are able to cut off the Castello road, the militants will be besieged in the northeastern part of the city without any supplies.
Nonetheless, the recent attempts of pro-government forces, supported by Russian fighter jets, to develop momentum have not lead to any gains yet. In turn, militants are consolidating efforts for a large counter-offensive in to recapture the strategic area and defend the strategic supply line.
In East Ghouta, the SAA has secured Beit Naem, Mohammadiya, Jasreen and nearby areas. Last week, pro-government forces managed to liberate Al-Bahariyah, Tal-Bahariyah and Borja-al-Bahariyah. Clashes were observed at Mayda’a.
The SAA’s gains came amid the ongoing between different militant groups – Al Nusra, Jaysh al-Islam, Failaq al-Rahman and others – that have erupted after the death of Zahran Alloush
The Syrian Democratic Forces, supported by US-led coalition warplanes, are advancing in the northern and southwestern suburbs of Syria’s Manbiij amid heavy clashes with ISIS militants. SDF units have seized the Hawatima neighborhood in the western part of the city and engaged in clashes in the Hazawani neigborhood. Separately, SDF units seized the Madfaa traffic circle near western gates of the city.
The coalition’s warplanes have been conducting air strikes near and in the city. Some 6 ISIS tactical units and 3 fighting positions were reportedly hit by them.
The ISIS terrorist group has launched an advance towards the Kurdish-controlled town of Ayn Issa in the Raqqa province, capturing Al Habsawi, Mughar and As Suwaidan. Heavy clashes are ongoing there.


Clashes are ongoing in Damascus’ East Ghouta as the Syrian Arab Army and its allies are advancing towards the village of Nashabiyah after the liberation of Al-Bahariyah last week.
On Monday, Al Nusra and its Turkmen allies launched an offensive in the Latakia province hitting SAA position at Jabal Al-Akrad and Jabal Turkmen. Pro-government forces, supported by Russian warplanes, were able to repel the advance, reportedly killing some 20 Jihadists.
The SAA has recaptured the village of Tal Sawwan in the western part of Homs province from ISIS. This move indicates that pro-government forces had regrouped in the area and now, they are ready to counter attack. In turn, ISIS units can not exploit the recent advances in the province because any further movement will stretch their ways of communication, making them vulnerable for attacks.
Weapons — including Kalashnikov assault rifles, mortars and rocket-propelled grenades —shipped into Jordan by the Central Intelligence Agency and Saudi Arabia intended for the so-called “Syrian moderate rebels” have been systematically stolen by Jordanian intelligence operatives and sold to arms merchants on the black market, according to a joint investigation by the New York Times and al-Jazeera. The theft, involving millions of dollars of weapons, highlights the messy, unplanned consequences of US-supported programs to arm and train rebels. There are no doubts that the stolen weapons have appeared, at least partly, in hands of Syrian Jihadi groups such Al Nusra.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has apologized for the death of the Russian pilot who was killed when a Russian jet was downed over the Syrian-Turkish border last November. In a letter to Vladimir Putin, Erdogan expressed “his deep sympathy and condolences to the relatives of the deceased Russian pilot”, argued that Ankara never had a desire “to down an aircraft belonging to Russia” and called Russia “a friend and a strategic partner”. In addition, Erdogan said he’s ready to fight terrorism together with Moscow. A half year of the sanctions has pushed Erdogan to send a love letter to Putin. What should we wait if the sanctions remain for a year?

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
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