Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Regime Near Tabqa with Russian Cover…ISIS Obstructs Advance toward Manbij | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Media ID: 55352715

A fighter of the Syria Democratic Forces mans an anti-aircraft
weapon in the southern rural area of Manbij, in Aleppo
Governorate, Syria May 31, 2016. Reuters

Beirut-The Syrian opposition’s efforts in pushing the armed factions toward calm and commitment to a new treaty during Ramadan have failed. The battles have increased and intensified in the north, and killed more than 224 civilians during the first week of June.

While the Kurdish fighters are slowly advancing toward Manbij supported by the International Alliance, the regime forces are quickly advancing toward Tabqa city in the Raqqa province with a Russian support, amidst information on the death of 37 regime members, and more than 100 ISIS militants since the attack was launched on the city.

The extremist organization is trying to confront the advancement of the regime forces by making sudden attacks on their sites. The last assault killed 28 people from both the regime forces and ISIS. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that intense battles took place between the two sides and the regime succeeded in maintaining its sites 15km from Tabqa Airport, which is controlled by the terrorist organization.

Ara News said that the Assad forces and the supportive militias advanced toward Tabqa airport with a Russian air support. The agency noted that more than 15 militants from ISIS and ten from the regime were killed during the clashes.

In line with the battles around Tabaqa, the regime’s warplanes threw pamphlets over Raqqa urging ISIS militants to surrender, which confirmed the advancement of the regime forces toward the militants’ bastions.

Abu Mohammad al-Raqqawi, activist in the “Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently” told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that the regime’s advance toward Tabaqa is heavily supported by the Russian air force. The activist added that the refugees, who run from Raqqa to Tabaqa, are looking for a new secure refuge out of fear of the clashes of Raqqa Aleppo, and Hama’s eastern country sides.

In line with Raqqa’s battles, there have been intense fighting between the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is a Kurdish-led coalition, and ISIS in the north of Manbij, where the air forces of the International Alliance play a major role in supporting the Kurdish movement.

While reports mentioned the death of 246 ISIS members including field commanders, the Syrian Observatory said that the warplanes of the International Alliance implemented concentrated air strikes that targeted the entourage of Manbij, simultaneously with the ongoing clashes between ISIS and SDF.

Nasser al-Haj Mansour, an SDF advisor, stated that the ISIS detention of civilians in the city was the reason behind the delay of Manbij’s invasion.

“Syria’s News Office” reported that according to Anas Khalil, an SDF fighter, the democratic forces have controlled many areas on the Aleppo-Manbij road amidst heavy strikes from the International Alliances. A media activist from the opposition, Ahmed al-Moussa, also told the Syria’s News Office, that the strikes of the alliance killed ten civilians and injured seven others.