Battle against ISIS, end of CIA aid to rebels and a new offensive on the Syrian-Lebanese border
Jul. 24th, 2017
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Battle against ISIS: Pro-government forces and U.S.-backed forces intensified their advance against the so-called Islamic State group near Raqqa.
The Syrian army and allied militias seized the al-Daylaa oil field alongside the Zamla gas field in a desert region of southwestern Raqqa province on Monday. Over the weekend, pro-government forces took control of the Wahab, al-Fahd, Dbaysan, al-Qseer, Abu al-Qatat and Abu Qatash oil fields and several other villages in the same area.
The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) clashed with ISIS fighters in central Raqqa and in the southwestern neighborhood of Yarmouk earlier this week.
At least 30 civilians were killed in airstrikes on ISIS-held areas this week: 15 were killed in coalition airstrikes in the village of Zour Shimr, near Raqqa, and another 15 people were killed by what Syrian opposition activists claimed was a Russian warplane in the eastern village of Ayash.
Some 200,000 people are in Raqqa province, many of them in urgent need of food deliveries and humanitarian aid. Last week, the World Food Programme (WFP) was able to make food deliveries to Mansoura and other rural areas north of Raqqa for the first time in three years, after the opening of a land route that connects Aleppo to Hasakah
Trump ends CIA aid to Syrian rebels: President Donald Trump has ended the covert CIA program that provided arms and training to Syrian rebel groups. The move, news of which broke on Wednesday, is an apparent “signal to Putin that the administration wants to improve ties to Russia,” a U.S. official told Reuters.
According to the New York Times, the decision to end the program came more than a month ago and revealed that ousting President Bashar al-Assad was no longer a U.S. priority.
Hezbollah, Syrian army launch border offensive: Hezbollah and the Syrian army launched a joint offensive against militant groups holed up in a rugged mountainous section of the Lebanese-Syrian frontier late Thursday night.
Some 3,000 militants, including al-Qaida-linked insurgents and members of the so-called Islamic State group, are said to be holed up in the outskirts of the Lebanese border town of Arsal, which has been buffeted by the war in Syria since 2011.
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Kurdish political officials in Syria are taking an increasingly anti-Iranian and pro-Saudi Arabia stance amid the rising tensions between Washington, Tehran and their proxies, and the rift between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, writes journalist Wladimir van Wilgenburg.
Some 31,000 Syrians have returned to the war-torn country from abroad this year and many are struggling to survive in a country they call home.
A battle on the outskirts of a Lebanese border town will have significant implications on the Syrian refugee population in Lebanon and may boost Hezbollah’s capabilities in Syria as it moves to secure a section of the Lebanese frontier, writes Kareem Chehayeb.
Haid Haid, Syrian Researcher
Kim Bode, Community Editor of Syria Deeply and Refugees Deeply
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