Daesh retakes Al Rai from the rebels – 11 April 2016

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Syrian rebels take most of Al Rai

On 7 April 2016 Syrian rebels, supported by Turkey, took from Daesh most of the town of Al Rai, near the Turkish border. The Turkish-backed rebels now control the stretch of the Syrian-Turkish border from their Azaz enclave to Al Rai.

The rebels’ advance will hinder the Kurds’ plans to take over this Daesh-controlled area themselves in order to unite their own enclaves – a plan vehemently resisted by Turkey.

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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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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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Syrian Kurds take Minnegh from the rebels

On 11 February 2016 Syrian Kurds captured the military airport of Minnegh from the Syrian rebels.

Minnegh was part of the rebels’ northern enclave near the Turkish border, currently under heavy attack by the Assad’s forces. The Kurds from their own Afrin enclave use the situation to expand their territory at the rebels’ expense.

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