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Military Reports by Leith Fadel for Almasdarnews
Anger and resentment among the civilians in the village of Al-‘Abid sprung when ISIS recently kidnapped over 20 civilians and marched them to an undisclosed location, leaving villagers furious over the random persecutions conducted by the latter. As a result of this unprovoked persecution of civilians in Al-‘Abid, the villagers took up arms and began to clash with ISIS militants inside the village, prompting their neighbors to do the exact same thing.
Civilians in the Abukamal and Al-Mayadeen Districts have begun their armed revolt against the ISIS militants abusing their authority inside the province of Deir Ezzor. ISIS continues to provoke members of the Al-Shaytat Tribe to pick-up arms against them, due to their persistent persecutions of these tribal members.
To coincide with the rise of villagers around Deir Ezzor, a newly formed popular resistance group – formed by the National Defense Force (NDF) – has begun to gain notoriety in the eastern part of the province. The group known as “Mouqawama Al-Sha’abiyyeh” (Popular Resistance) is now operating in the Deir Ezzor Governorate, recruiting members from different villages to take up arms against ISIS and to retake their villages and neighborhoods under their rule.
According to a military source, the industrial plants are located in the Al-Shaaher Quarter in northern Handarat, just south of the Handarat Refugee Camp in the Aleppo Governorate. This is an imperative area that is adjacent to the besieged Handarat Refugee Camp that the SAA and Hezbollah forces are currently entrenched in.
The militants from the Islamic Front tactically withdrew from the industrial plants as a result of the fierce attack by the SAA and Hezbollah; this coincided with the Syrian Arab Air Force’s (SAAF) relentless airstrikes that provided the loyalist forces with substantial air coverage to deter a counter-attack by the rebels. Following the attack by the loyalist forces, the militants from the Islamic Front subsequently pulled-out of the Al-Shaaher Quarter to the Handarat Refugee Camp.
For the 1st time since their siege of the Mennagh Airbase (save Kuweris Airbase – fighting ongoing), the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) has engaged the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) directly on the ground in the Aleppo Governorate, as the latter has begun operations near Lake Jabboul and Tal Istabal in the Al-Safeera area. The SAA’s operations east of Al-Safeera netted scores of dead ISIS fighters, including a Pakistani militant, whose identity has not been released to Al-Masdar News yet.
Islamic Front militants from Harakat ‘Ahrar Al-Sham (Liberators of the Levant Movement) attempted to retake Tal Malaah located near the Handarat Camp; however, their attack was repelled by the SAA and Hezbollah fighters earlier today. In conjunction with ‘Ahrar Al-Sham’s attack on Tal Malaah, the SAA intensified its assault on the Handarat Camp, targeting the Islamic Front fighters near the western perimeter of the former Palestinian refugee camp.
As a result of the Syrian Arab Army’s success in the Aleppo Governorate, water and electricity has been restored to most neighborhoods in the provincial capital for the first time since early 2014. According to a civilian source inside Aleppo City, there are still some districts that are without both water and electricity, but engineers are working to repair the flow of both to civilian homes.
According to an SAA source, the 5 supply trucks that were seized by the 11th Tank Division contained a number of boxes that originated from Saudi Arabia that also read “food aid” – inside the boxes were first-aid kits, 40 grad rockets, 20 mortar shells, 23mm machine gun ammunition, 14 half barrels filled with C-4 explosives, 3 mortar launchers, and satellite televisions.
The source further added that this is not the first time the SAA and NDF have confiscated these type of goods; it is common for these supply trucks to enter Syria from the Turkish border in order to resupply militant fighters combatting the Syrian Arab Army.
Some of the militants killed at the hideout were also members of Liwaa Suqour Al-Sham (Falcons of the Levant Brigade) – they are a large militia in the Islamic Front (Jabhat Al-Islamiyya). A total of 19 militants were killed during the firefight, including a fighter identified as Mohammad ‘Anwar Al-‘Issa from the Idlib Governorate.
Early on Monday morning, a convoy of Al-Nusra Front (Jabhat Al-Nusra) fighters was traveling from the ‘Arsal District in Lebanon to the Syrian village of ‘Assal Al-Ward in the Qalamoun Mountains, attempting to resupply and reinforce their comrades combatting the National Defense Forces (NDF) and Hezbollah (Party of God) in this area.
NDF scouts identified a convoy of militants from the Al-Nusra Front making their way to ‘Assal Al-Ward during a reconnaissance mission near the Lebanese border. As a result, a joint force of Hezbollah and NDF fighters prepared an ambush on the road leading to ‘Assad Al-Ward around 7 A.M. on Monday; this surprise attack led to the death of over 30 militants from the Al-Nusra Front.
The Al-Nusra Front suffered significant casualties as a result of this attack in the Qalamoun Mountains, including a number of senior members that were traveling with this convoy. Among the dead senior members of the Al-Nusra Front killed in the ambush was the field command “Mohammad Khalouf” – he was identified as key figure of the Al-Nusra Front’s operations in the Qalamoun Mountains. Khalouf led the failed counter-attack on Hezbollah fighters at Faleeta and Rankous in early October 2014.
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