8/21/2014

  • Today is the 1 year anniversary of the government gas attack in the suburbs of Damascus.
    • The Brown Moses blog is the best source to go and find details on the attack if you are interested.
    • An article by Elliot Higgins, the man who does the Brown Moses blog, that was republished in Business Insider today: http://www.businessinsider.com/assad-sarin-gas-near-damascus-2014-8
    • A red line, in reference to President Barack Obama's "red line" towards the use of chemical weapons in Syria, with the names of towns in Syria that have been attacked with chemical weapons, as part of a protest in front of the White House.

      A red line, in reference to President Barack Obama’s “red line” towards the use of chemical weapons in Syria, with the names of towns in Syria that have been attacked with chemical weapons, as part of a protest in front of the White House.

      A protest in front of the White House, with tombs for the children killed in the sarin gas attack.

      A protest in front of the White House, with tombs for the children killed in the sarin gas attack.


  • The alleged chemical attack yesterday in Jobar, next to Damascus, has been reported to have killed 5 people and wounded 15.
  • A Major General of the Air Force defense, whose identity I don’t know yet, is reported to have been killed with 3 others by a landmine explosion if Rif Dimashq on the road between Mleha and Zabdeen.

  • Residents of the al-Qaddam suburb of Damascus began to get bused back into the area after a reconciliation agreement was apparently signed between rebels and the government a few days ago to end the fighting.al-Qaddam reconciliation 8-21-2014al-qaddam 8-21-2014

  • The Islamic State has begun arresting relatives of Jabhat al-Nusra members, and the relatives of people in other groups, in the former JaN stronghold of al-Shhil in Deir Ez Zor.

  • At  least 11 Islamic State fighters died in fighting around the al-Taqba Airport, which they are trying to take from government forces, and from airstrikes in the adjoining city of al-Tabaqa in al-Raqqa. The IS has taken heavy casualties in their attempt to take the base in the last 2 weeks.
    • The IS took the al-Tayyara checkpoint near the airport.
    • Yesterday Abu Mosa, the IS Press Officer, is reported to have been killed in the fighting at the airport.abu mosa 8-21-2014
    • A video by Orient News of the IS attacks on the airport: 
      A photo of fighting at the airport.

      A photo of fighting at the airport.


  • Fighting in Aleppo province between the IS and YPG occurred around Kobani in the villages of al-Ja’de and al-Byadeyyi.

  • The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that last night in the al-Sha’ar neighborhood of Aleppo, a group calling itself the Abo Amara Battalions stormed the HQ of the Civil Defense, and arrested him on charges of dealing with the government. He was forced to resign and released a few hours later.

  • The head of the Islamic State’s security in Aleppo was executed by the IS after it was revealed that he was in contact with the Mukhabarat (Syrian intelligence) and foreign intelligence.

  • Rebels in Aleppo firing on government positions with a Hell Cannon: 

  • Rebel reinforcements on the way to Mare’a in Aleppo to defend against the Islamic State offensive that has captured 12 towns and villages so far: 

  • There is heavy fighting between the IS and YPG around Jazza in al-Hasakah province.
    • The YPG reported that 15 of their fighters died.

  • Yesterday 15 NDF fighters died in an attack on rebels in Hama around the Sharaya Hill.

  • Jabhat al-Nusra captured the village of ar-Rahjan in Hama.


  • The Hama Military Airport is reported to be almost unusable at this point due to rebel attacks on it. A new runway is being constructed because of heavy damage to the existing ones.

  • An NPR report about how Assad has managed to stay in power: http://www.npr.org/2014/08/21/342095297/syria-s-regime-remains-strong-is-the-u-s-to-blame?sc=tw

  • A video interviewing female YPG fighters: 

  • The Telegraph published an article with further details on the failed attempt to rescue James Foley, who was executed by the Islamic State a few days ago, and other hostages: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/11049814/The-failed-US-mission-to-try-and-rescue-James-Foley-from-Islamic-State-terrorists.html
    • The details were largely provided by a man who lives in ar-Raqqa who used the pseudonym Abu Ibrahim al-Raqqawi.
    • Two dozen Delta Force soldiers, assisted by Jordanian Special Forces, conducted the raid 11 miles southeast of the city on a camp called the Osama bin Laden Camp by IS members, but the hostages had been moved shortly prior.

  • Assad has appointed General Mohamed Khaddour as the new commander of the eastern front in al-Raqqa and Deir Ez Zor. He was formerly the commander in Aleppo.
    • He is replacing General Issam Zaher Ed-Din, who is reported to be going to his home city of Sweida to mediate the recent flare-up between Druze citizens, Bedouins, and Jabhat al-Nusra.

  • NDF forces in al-Hasakah city are protesting the government’s decision to allow YPG fighters into NDF-controlled neighborhoods as they both fight the Islamic State.
    • There are three branches of the NDF in the city, led by Bassam ErsanThabit al-Jihar, and Abo Khalid al-Haji, with around 12,000 fighters in all. 200 fighters from the first and third branch have withdrawn from their posts and left their arms behind after the military allowed the YPG to enter their areas.
    • The military has begun to allow this after the YPG helped at least 50 soldiers escape the Regiment 121 Base after the IS over-ran it.
    • A meeting between Ba’ath Part figures and PYD members (the YPG is the armed wing of the PYD) was held yesterday in Qamishli in an attempt to solve the disagreements.

    • Rebels in Aleppo

      Rebels in Aleppo

      Member of the Ba'ath Brigades.

      Member of the Ba’ath Brigades.

      A photo taken by the Islamic State of women PKK fighters killed in al-Hasakah.

      A photo taken by the Islamic State of women PKK fighters killed in al-Hasakah.

      A man in Homs province who was executed by Jabhat al-Nusra for sorcery.

      A man in Homs province who was executed by Jabhat al-Nusra for sorcery.

      Rebel reinforcements in Hama.

      Rebel reinforcements in Hama.

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