Assad’s forces retake Khanaser

On 25 February 2016 Syrian regime forces retook the town of Khanaser that had been captured by Daesh [ISIS].

Khanaser is positioned on the only road that connected the bulk of the territory under Assad’s control to the Aleppo Province. Despite retaking of Khanaser, the road is still blocked by Daesh.

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Daesh [ISIS] takes Khanaser

On 23 February 2016 forces of Daesh took Khanaser town from the Syrian regime. Khanaser has huge strategic importance, as it sits on the single road that connected the bulk of the regime territory to the areas under its control in the Aleppo Province.

Fall of Khanaser came as expansion of the Daesh’s grip over the strategic road which it had cut on 21 February.

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Syrian Kurds continue advance against Daesh; Assad forces proceed to destroy surrounded Daesh forces

On 20 February 2016 Syrian Kurds continued their successful offensive against Daesh [ISIS] in eastern Syria. After unexpectedly capturing Al-Shadadi town on 19 February, they kept advancing rapidly along the Nahrl al Khabur river valley and took Fadghami village more than 20 kilometers south-east from Al-Shadadi. As a result, they have now come close to the last significant possession of Daesh in Al-Hasakah Province – Markadah town.

Meanwhile, on 21 February Syrian regime forces destroyed the pocket of the Daesh forces in Aleppo Province which they had surrounded on 20 February. In the process, they took a number of villages and Rayyan town.

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Syrian regime forces surround Daesh forces east of Aleppo

On 20 February 2016, the Syrian regime offensive resulted in the encirclement of Daesh [ISIS] forces in the area between Aleppo city and Kwaires military base.

The offensive has been going on during the recent weeks, with towns of Arran and Barlehiyah being taken by the Assad’s forces on 15 February and the town of As Sin on 18 February.

On 20 Assad’s forces took Aleppo Thermal Power Plant and village Turaykiyah. This latest achievement cut the last link between the bulk of Daesh territory and the area around Daesh-held town of Rayyan, that has been surrounded as a result.

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SDF capture Al-Shadadi from Daesh

According to Reuters (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-hasaka-idUSKCN0VS29A), on 19 February 2016, Syrian Democratic Forces coalition led by the Syrian Kurds captured the town of Al-Shadadi in eastern Syria from Daesh [ISIS].

The development appears to be part of the present American plan to take over the territory under Daesh control in cooperation with the Kurdish-led SDF.

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Assad forces take Kansaba in northern Latakia

On 18 February 2016, Syrian regime forces took the rebel-held town of Kansaba in northern Latakia Province.

This success practically completes recapture of Latakia Province by Assad and gives his forces more opportunities to launch offensive against Jisr al-Shughur in neighboring Idlib Province.

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Syrian Kurds take Marea

On 16 February 2016 Syrian Kurds took first the village of Shaykh Isa just west from the Marea town, and then Marea itself. Reportedly, the rebels negotiated bloodless surrender of Marea in exchange for safe passage to the remaining rebel-controlled areas to the north.

As a result of the Syrian regime forces’ and Kurdish advances, the northern enclave of the rebels has become practically limited to the town of Azaz. Turkey insists it will not let Azaz fall into the hands of the Kurds.

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Assad’s forces and Kurds take over rebels’ territories in northern Aleppo province

On 15 February 2016 the rebels suffered another series of territorial losses at the hands of government forces and Syrian Kurds.

The Kurds took Tall Rifat – one of the three towns that had been remaining in the rebels’ hands in their northern enclave. They also took the village of Ayn Deqna.

The Assad’s forces took villages of Kafr Naseh and Ahras.

The northern enclave of the rebels is cut from the rest of the rebels’ territory and faces destruction. Turkey, however, has stated it will not allow the fall of the enclave’s most significant town of Azaz into the Kurdish hands.

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Assad’s forces try to surround Aleppo; launch advance towards Raqqah

On 13 February 2016 Syrian government forces took village Tannurah, north-west of Aleppo city from the rebels, which brings closer complete encirclement of the rebel-controlled part of Aleppo city by the government forces.

In another development, Assad’s forces launched advance from Ithriya in the direction of Ar Raqqah – the capital of Daesh [ISIS]. USA, Saudi Arabia and UAE plan to step up their involvement in the Syrian war and, in cooperation with their Syrian allies, take the Daesh-controlled territory, including Raqqah. The Assad’s forces are now trying to be first on the spot in the Raqqah area.

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Al Qaeda captures 5 towns in Yemen

Since late January 2016 Al Qaeda has captured a string of towns in southern Yemen. On 26 January they took Lahij (al Houta). On 1 February – Azzan. On 4 February – Al Mahfid. And in the following days – Ahwar and Shuqrah.

The offensive has connected Al Qaeda territory in the eastern part of Yemen with its enclave in the Aden area. Therefore, the piece of Yemen under Al Qaeda control is now getting closer to constituting a coherent geographical unit.

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