Hurras al Din, an al Qaeda group in Syria, has claimed responsibility for a bus explosion in Damascus. The Syrian state-controlled media says the explosion was caused by a “short circuit” near the bus’s fuel tank.
Overnight airstrikes against pro-Iranian sites in Damascus resulted in the confirmed killing of a Lebanese Hezbollah fighter.
Since mid-April, the Islamic State and the Assad regime have been engaged in an intense battle in the southern neighborhoods of Damascus. ISIS claims to have killed or wounded hundreds of Assad’s soldiers, but its figures cannot be independently verified. Meanwhile, the so-called caliphate continues to fight the Syrian government and its allies in other areas as well, including in eastern Syria.
The Islamic State’s propagandists continue to take aim at rival jihadists, including al Qaeda and Hay’at Tahrir al Sham (HTS). A recent Islamic State video calls upon HTS fighters to defect to the so-called caliphate’s cause.
Hay’at Tahrir al Sham (“Assembly for the Liberation of the Levant”) and the Islamic State continue to battle for control of the Yarmouk camp in southern Damascus.
The Tehran-controlled Iraqi militia Harakat al Nujaba has announced its participation in a battle raging east of Damascus, joining regime forces in the Jobar and Abbasin districts.
Hay’at Tahrir al Sham (HTS), Ahrar al Sham, and the Free Syrian Army-affiliated Faylaq al Rahman launched a surprise offensive against Bashar al Assad’s regime in Damascus yesterday. HTS, an al Qaeda front group, has been stepping up its attacks in the Syrian capital in recent weeks.
Abu Jaber (also known as Hashem al Sheikh), the leader of Hay’at Tahrir al Sham (HTS), has released a message commemorating the sixth anniversary of the Syrian revolution. He portrays HTS as a popular revolutionary force and calls on other rebel groups to join it for the sake of “unity.” He also promises to “escalate” operations against Bashar al Assad’s regime.
Hay’at Tahrir al Sham (HTS), al Qaeda’s new front group in Syria, has claimed responsibility for two suicide bombings that targeted Shiites in Damascus yesterday. Al Qaeda generally avoids targeting Shiite civilians, but a number of children and women were reportedly killed. HTS attempts to justify the bombings by arguing that the jihadists targeted “Iranian militias” and Bashar al Assad’s forces.
The Islamic State has been battling Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria, inside the Yarmouk refugee camp since April 7. The so-called caliphate has gained ground from Al Nusrah since then.
Three jihadist groups have formed Jund al Malahim (“Soldiers of the Epics”), a joint operations room opposed to the Assad regime and Russian forces in the Ghouta region of Damascus.
Training camps run by the Al Nusrah Front, the Khorasan Group, and a Chechen-led group, Khalifat Jamaat, were identified in Syria. The Long War Journal has identified 42 jihadist training camps in Iraq and Syria.