8/26/2014

  • A Kornet missile strike by Jabhat al-Nusra in southeast Maharda in Hama


  • Rebels entered Tal Salhab in Hama: http://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=35.256834&lon=36.380196&z=13&m=b

  • 500 Iranian trained SAA soldiers, called the “Night Hawks“, have arrived in northern Hama to try and stop rebel advances.

  • The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that 1,500 Jabhat al-Nusra fighters have arrived around Helfaya and Maharda in Hama in order to launch a large attack against the city of Maharda. They took control of the eastern part of the city on Monday.
    • The city is largely Christian.
    • The government has launched a counter-offensive against rebels in the area.

  • 5 soldiers were killed in an attack on the Bateesh Checkpoint just outside of east Maharda, which is controlled by Jabhat al-Nusra. 

  • The government made advances against rebel forces, mainly Jabhat al-Nusra and Jund al-Aqsa, in fighting near Hama city around the village of Shar’aya.

  • US President Barack Obama has authorized surveillance flights over Syria to gather intelligence on the Islamic State, following action against the group within Iraq and a week after the US journalist James Foley was shown being executed in an IS video.
    • Obama has not yet made a decision on whether or not he will conduct airstrikes inside Syria.
    • Yesterday Assad announced that any airstrikes by the US or its allies within Syria would need to be coordinated with his government, although US officials have said that they would not cooperate with the government in the event of airstrikes being conducted.

  • The Syrian Air Force conducted at least 12 airstrikes across Deir Ez Zor province, the largest number since the Islamic State took control of the province.
    • At least 7 civilians and an unknown number of IS fighters were killed.

  • The IS is massing forces around the Deir Ez Zor Military Airport in order to try and seize it from the Syrian military.

  • The Islamic State executed and crucified a Jabhat al-Nusra fighter along with 3 other men in the al-Bal’um Roundabout in the city of al-Mayadin, Deir Ez Zor, on charges of fighting the IS.

  • The AFP reported that the US is sharing intelligence information from its surveillance of the Islamic State in flights over Syria with the Syrian government, through Iraqi and Russian channels.
    • A source told the AFP that the Obama administration has been giving the Syrian government lists of IS positions since just before Syria began heavy airstrikes against them in al-Raqqa province in mid-August.

  • The bodies of 5 rebels who were captured by the government from the Hanano neighborhood in Aleppo were found with a note that said “From here passed the Syrian army”.

  • Fighting between rebels and the Islamic State in northern Aleppo, as part of the rebels counter-offensive against IS gains in the region, has killed a reported 43 IS members and captured 3.
    • The counter-offensive is called the Nahrawan Battle and has seen fighting in villages along the Turkish border, the village of Umm Hosh which is just north of Aleppo city, the rebel stronghold of Mare’a, and in the town of Ahtimlat.
    • I’m not sure what the rebel casualties have been.

  • A car bomb exploded  in Sijo Garage, which is next to the opposition-linked media office, in Azaz in Aleppo province, killing 7 civilians.
    • The Islamic State was accused of carrying out the attack.
    • The garage is a major center for public transportation in the area.

  • Airstrikes on the village of al-Kherba in southern Aleppo killed a man, his wife, and 2 of their children.

  • A marijuana farm confiscated by the Islamic State in the Akhtarin area of Aleppo


  • Jabhat Ansar al-Din (a merger of a few groups, including a Chechen group, that was created on July 25th) fighting off the government around the Handarat district of Aleppo and storming areas near the Aleppo Central Prison. The fighting killed 9 soldiers: 

  • The Islamic State shelling the Kuwaires Airbase in Aleppo with US-made howitzers captured from the Iraqi army: 


  • Rebels heading north in Aleppo to fight the Islamic State


  • A woman and her 2 children were killed by airstrikes on the city of Tafas in Daraa province.

  • Rebels fighting in the al-Houla region of Homs


  • 5 rebels were killed in the al-Houla area of Homs in fighting against government forces.
  • 7 people were killed in Homs province by airstrikes on the village of al-Najma.

  • The last 3 days of fighting in Zabadani, in Rif Dimashq, in which Jabhat al-Nusra has captured 5 government checkpoints, has killed 10 JaN fighters and 20 soldiers.

  • The SAA has destroyed 2 rebel tunnels in the last day in Jobar, next to Damascus.

  • Rebel groups in Eastern Ghouta have formed a joint command structure with Zahran Alloush, the commander of the Islamic Front, as their overall leader.

  • A graduation ceremony for YPG fighters: 


  • An American hostage being held by the Islamic State has been identified as a 26 year-old woman who was kidnapped in Syria last year while doing humanitarian work. Her family has requested that her name not be released out of concern for her safety.
    • In exchange for her life, the IS is demanding $6.6 million dollars and the release of Aafia Siddiqui, a neuroscience convicted in 2010 of trying to kill 2 American officials in 2008.
      • Aafia’s family strongly rejected the terms, saying they did not want his name associated with the execution of hostage and violence.

  • Qatar is working to help free 4 Americans held by various groups in Syria, although it declined to name the groups or hostages.
    • Qatar helped gain the release of Peter Curtis on Sunday, an American journalist who had been held for almost 2 years by Jabhat al-Nusra.
    • This is coming on top of the Islamic State’s beheading of James Foley a week ago, and accusations that Qatar has been funding the Islamic State.

  • Islamic Front shelling of government positions with a Hell Cannon in the town of al-Fowa in Idlib


  • A preview released by the Islamic Front for their second video of their “Black War” training camp (I hope they start using the nunchuks as a regular part of their arsenal): 

    • Here is the first part: 


  • Fahd Jassem al-Freij, the Syrian Defense Minister, is being called the “death minister” by pro-government activists in response to the fall of the Tabqa Airbase in al-Raqqa on Sunday. They are calling for everyone involved in the losses the government has faced recently in northern Syria to be held accountable.

  • A video released by the Islamic State showing some of their training: 


  • Jabhat al-Nusra has warned that Hezbollah is planning a large attack against it in the Qalamoun mountains.
    • The commander who made the comments did not give his name, but said that an offensive would mean the deaths of Lebanese military prisoners that JaN captured during fighting in Arsal a few weeks ago.

  • The Al Asayesh (Kurdish internal security forces) raided a house belonging to the Islamic State in the village of Khashman, about 2 km north of al-Hasakah city, and arrested the logistics official of the IS for that area. The identity of the official has not been revealed.

  • Jamil Bayik, the head of the PKK (Kurdistan Worker’s Party), called on the west to give support to the PKK rather than the Iraqi Peshmerga.
    • He said that the Peshmerga has consistently fled the Islamic State and “The Peshmerga forces handed over their weapons to IS and fled Shingal area following IS control of Nineveh province in northern Iraq.”
    • He emphasized that PKK and YPG fighters “saved tens of thousands of the Yezidi refugees who escaped IS terrorism”.

  • A report on fighting between the Druze and NDF and both Bedouin fighters and Jabhat al-Nusra in Sweida province: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/08/clashes-bedouin-druze-as-suwayda-syria.html

  • Fighitng around the Tabqa airport in al-Raqqa between the military and Islamic State is still going on, and airstrikes are still being conducted on IS positions in the area.

    SAA soldiers in Aleppo.

    SAA soldiers in Aleppo.

    A Syrian Civil Defense team in the al-Ansari district of Aleppo fights a fire left after a barrel bomb.

    A Syrian Civil Defense team in the al-Ansari district of Aleppo fights a fire left after a barrel bomb.


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