International Military Review – Syria, Feb. 11, 2016

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On Feb.10, 555th Brigade of the 4th Mechanized Division of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) supported by the National Defense Forces (NDF) and the Russian Air Force launched a full-scale military operation to recapture the road linking Ithriyah and Raqqa. The road also leads to the Tabaqa Military Airport. Following the heavy clashes with ISIS, the pro-government forces liberated Tal Abu Zayn and a water well at the village of Tal Zakiya. Now, the Syrian forces are pursuing the goal to liberate the Tabaqa Military Airport.

According to reports, some 800 fighters from Liwa Suqour al-Sahra, the pro-government Palestinian militia “Liwa al-Quds”, Fouj al-Joulan and Kata’ebat al-Ba’ath have arrived the town of Ithriyah in the Northeastern part of Hama in order to supply the efforts aimed to purge ISIS from the Tabaqa Military Airport.

In a separate development, the Syrian government forces backed up by the Russian and Syrian warplanes stormed the ISIS defense lines near the town of Zahiyeh in the Raqqa province.

In North Aleppo, the SAA supported by Hezbollah and Iraqi paramilitary units were able to take control of the village of Kafr Naya located directly south of the militants’ stronghold of Tal Rifa’at. In the nearest future, the SAA and its allies will likely to advance North-East towards Mare’ in order to cut off the militants in Misqan and Ahras from their only supply route heading from Azaz.

According to the Syrian intelligence sources, the militant groups operating in the Northeastern part of Lattakia province have called for more fresh forces to save their last main stronghold, Kinsibba, located at the border with Idlib province. We remember, the SAA and its allies with a significant air and artillery support have been continuing an offensive aimed to recapture this area from the terrorists.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) vehicles trying to enter al-Mazaya district of Damascus have been attacked by militants operating in this area on Feb.10. A number of aid workers were injured and three of them are reportedly in a critical condition.

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