Results tagged “Syria”
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Robert Ford, the former US ambassador to Syria, said his biggest complaint about the Syrian opposition has been its failure to distance itself from al Qaeda and affiliates. Regime forces closed in on rebel holdouts in Yabroud; a Hezbollah source claimed the city fell to regime forces after a Hezbollah raid killed 13 rebel commanders. The Army of Mujahedeen hauled a female activist and another woman into sharia court in Aleppo for refusing to wear a headscarf. The Islamic Front and the Al Nusrah Front battled regime forces in Aleppo, and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham clashed with Kurdish forces in the province. The Islamic Front fought against regime forces in Hama, in Quneitra, in Deraa, in Raqqah, and in Reef Dimashq. Gunmen killed eight Al Nusrah fighters in Deir Izzour at an oilfield controlled by the group. Al Nusrah claimed that its Dec. 10 battle in Damascus, a joint operation with Ahrar al Sham, Jaysh al Islam, and other groups, killed nearly 1,000 regime soldiers; Al Nusrah also claimed a joint operation on March 12 in Hama with the Free Syrian Army's Liwa al Ummah.
The strategic town of Yabroud has fallen to regime forces backed by Hezbollah, after weeks of fighting against rebel forces including the Al Nusrah Front, the Islamic Front, and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham. In Aleppo, Al Nusrah and Islamic fighters battled regime forces, and ISIS detained eight members of a family for supporting rebel battalions. In Idlib, the Islamic Front clashed with regime forces and launched shells at Shiite towns. ISIS fought against rebels in Hasakah, and executed an Arab sheikh in Raqqah. Islamic factions and the Jund al Sham clashed with regime forces in Homs.
Regime forces conducted 15 air raids on Yabroud and entered eastern parts of the strategic city; some of the rebels have fled south to Rankos, but others, including the Al Nusrah Front, have remained in the city. Abu Azzam al-Kuwaiti, the Al Nusrah deputy for Qalamoun, was killed yesterday on the outskirts of Yabroud; he had negotiated a prisoner swap involving the kidnapped Syrian nuns. In Raqqah, a rebel battalion killed at least 14 Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham fighters in an ambush. ISIS clashed with Kurdish YPG forces in Aleppo. The Islamic Front and the Jund al Sham battled regime forces in Homs.
The Syrian army backed by Hezbollah advanced closer to Yabroud, taking the hill of Aqaba, 2 km from the city, battling the Al Nusrah Front, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham, and the Islamic Front. The ISIS has withdrawn from Idlib and Latakia, and has retreated to eastern Reef Aleppo and Raqqah; the retreats were carried out under the protection of the Al Nusrah Front. An activist observer group said that about 4,000 people have been killed in clashes between the ISIS on the one side and the Islamic Front and "fighting battalions" on the other since early January. The ISIS released video featuring two Libyan suicide bombers who detonated in Deir Izzour.
Regime and Hezbollah fighters continued to try to wrest the strategic town of Yabroud from rebel forces, including the Al Nusrah Front, the Islamic Front, and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham. Al Nusrah and the Islamic Front fought against regime forces in Hama; in Aleppo, where they are besieging the central prison; and in Deir Izzour. The ISIS fired rockets at the regime's 17th division in Raqqah, and clashed with the Islamic Front and the Jabhat Al-Arkrad in Aleppo. The head of the Syrian Orthodox Church said some of the comments of the recently freed nuns were made under duress. Al Nusrah issued statements claiming 11 operations in Homs, including a suicide bombing, in January and February; and a joint attack with the Liwa' al-Ummah in Khan Sheikhun in Idlib.
The Al Nusrah Front and the Islamic Front clashed with regime forces in Deir Izzour, in Idlib, and in Aleppo. The Islamic Front battled regime forces in various towns in Reef Dimashq, including around Yabroud. Syria plans to close its embassies in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait because those countries have refused to accredit the Syrian envoys. President Assad visited the Damascus suburb of Adra, in his first public appearance outside the capital since August. A new Syrian law requires visitors to have a visa to enter the country.