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Sunday, June 4, 2017

Map of east Aleppo battle after ISIL’s loss of Maskanah

BEIRUT, LEBANON (2:50 P.M.) – The Islamic State (ISIL) suffered a major setback, Saturday, when the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) captured their last stronghold in the Aleppo Governorate.

For more than three years, the Islamic State has occupied the town of Maskanah, which is located near the provincial border of the Al-Raqqa Governorate.

Due to its location along the Aleppo-Raqqa Highway and its proximity to the large city of Tabaqa, Maskanah was an invaluable town to the Islamic State forces.

With its loss on Saturday, the Islamic State now finds themselves on the verge of being completely expelled from northern Syria, pending Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces’ (SDF) upcoming Raqqa City offensive.

Once Raqqa City is lost, the Islamic State will no longer have a presence in northern Syria.

Breaking: Syrian Army liberates Maskanah, ISIL expelled from Aleppo

Syrian Army liberates Maskanah

BEIRUT, LEBANON (11:10 P.M.) – Minutes ago, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) announced the full liberation of the key town of Maskanah in the eastern countryside of Aleppo.
According to a military source in Aleppo, the Islamic State (ISIL) forces withdrew from Maskanah and its surrounding villages after losing much of the high ground overlooking the town.
This operation to liberate Maskanah was led by the Syrian Arab Army’s elite Tiger Forces; they have been the main unit carrying out the east Aleppo offensive this year.
With Maskanah under their control, the Syrian Arab Army will now shift their attention to the eastern countryside of Hama, where they hope to expel ISIL from central Syria once and for-all.

ISIL’s rule in northern Syria is coming to an end: map

BEIRUT, LEBANON (9:05 P.M.) – In late 2014, the Islamic State (ISIL) had controlled much of northern Syria and were steadily working their way to the provincial capital of Al-Hasakah and the predominately Kurdish border-town of Kobane (‘Ayn Al-‘Arab).
However, the Islamic State’s dream of a caliphate that would stretch from Iraq to the Mediterranean would ultimately end at Kobane in early 2015, when the Kurdish-led People’s Protection Units (YPG) and their western-backed allies not only lifted the siege on the town, but also, launched an important counter-offensive to liberate much of the Aleppo-Raqqa axis near the Turkish border.
Since their failed attempt to capture Kobane in late 2014, the Islamic State has been conceding a significant amount of territory to the Kurdish forces in northern Syria, leaving the former with a small presence in both the Aleppo and Al-Raqqa governorates.
With the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on the verge of liberating the strategic town of Al-Mansourah, the Islamic State finds itself clinging on to the provincial capital of Al-Raqqa, where they hope to fend off the swarming enemy forces.
Making matters worse for the Islamic State, they are also on the verge of losing their last positions in the Aleppo Governorate to the Syrian Arab Army (SAA).
Recently, the Syrian Arab Army surrounded the terrorist group’s stronghold at Maskanah from two different flanks; this leaves them with two choices: retreat south to Al-Raqqa or fight and die.
Once they lose their last positions in Al-Raqqa and Aleppo, the Islamic State’s presence in northern Syria will no longer exist, leaving them to move their capital to the Deir Ezzor Governorate.


The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies have renewed push against the US-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) in the southeastern Syrian desert. The SAA began advancing in the Al-Dakwa area and Beer Kasab in order to link up in the Zuluf reserve area. The operation followed an FSA advance against government troops on Wednesday when US-backed militants failed to push the SAA from the Zaza triangle. FSA sources blamed Russian airstrikes and pro-Iranian militias for this failure.
In eastern Homs, the SAA advanced on Al-Abbasiya and Al-Sukari southeast of Palmyra, but ISIS members repelled the attack and forced the army to retreat. Russian warplanes and helicopters have bombed ISIS targets near Al-Sukari and Al-Abbasiya, east of the Arak field, and in Sukhnah.
The SAA Tiger Forces have captured the villages of Jadyaa Saghira and Jadyaa Kabira south of the ISIS-held town of Maskana and the Maskana silos. Thus, the SAA isolated the ISIS stronghold from the southern, western and northern directions.
Experts believe that ISIS will be forced to withdraw from the strategic town soon. However, there is always a chance that terrorists decide to defend the town by all means.
Meanwhile, the Syrian Republican Guard has conducted limited attacks against ISIS east of Khanasser, drawing the terrorist group’s attention from Maskana.
Russian warplanes have destroyed three ISIS convoys fleeing Raqqa, the Russian Ministry of Defense claimed in a statement on Thursday. The convoys were attempting to escape from Raqqa in the southern direction on Monday but the Russian Aerospace Forces prevented this. 80 ISIS terrorists were killed and 36 vehicles, 8 fuel trucks and 17 pickups equipped with mortars and machine guns were destroyed.
“The Command of the Russian Air Force group in Syrian Arab Republic warned that any efforts of ISIS’ insurgents to leave Raqqa through the open corridor to Palmyra will be suppressed,” the statement reads.
The ministry added that the US-led coalition and the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are maintaining an open corridor for terrorists south of the city.
In May, the SDF released an official statement denying any allegations that they may allow ISIS members to flee Raqqa and arguing there is info indicating that the Syrian-Iranian-Russian alliance cooperates with ISIS near Palmyra.
Meanwhile, the SDF captured ath-Thadyayn near the Baath Dam south of Raqqa. Clashes have reportedly continued in the Baath Dam itself as claims of the pro-SDF sources that it had been fully retaken appeared to be untrue.
According to opposition sources, the SDF began negotiations with ISIS members suggesting them to withdraw from the dam and the nearby villages. The same approach was implemented in Tabqa and in the Tabqa Dam where terrorists accepted an open corridor deal.

ISIS also released statements claiming that some 23 Kurdish fighters have been killed in the recent clashes in the Raqqa countryside.

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