Qatar recently secured the release of Qatari hostages, including members of the royal family. But its diplomatic victory was marred by reports that a multi-million dollar ransom was paid to a US-designated terrorist group and an al Qaeda-linked joint venture in Syria.
Iranian authorities have confirmed that at least two Iranians were killed in combat in Syria’s Hama province. Pro-Assad regime forces have been fighting a major insurgent offensive that was launched by a number of groups in Hama earlier this month.
On May 6, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps lost the strategic village of Khan Touman to Jaysh al Fath, suffering its worse defeat yet in the Syrian war. Iranian officials and commanders alongside state outlets have publicly downplayed the loss and have vowed revenge to retake the town. They also level accusations that the West and its regional allies support “terrorists” who take advantage of ceasefires.