International Military Review – Syria & Iraq, May 10, 2016

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The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and Hezbollah are advancing on the town of Khan Touman in the Aleppo province. It was captured by militants on May 6. The loyalists are in control of the strategic high ground at the Quarries, overlooking the eastern flank of the town. Earlier, the pro-government forces had prevented Jeish al-Fatah, al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham from moving towards al-Zarbeh and the neighborhoods of Rashedeen 4 and 5 from the Western and Northeastern sides of Khan Touman.

A truce in place since last Thursday in the Syrian city of Aleppo has been extended for two days until midnight on Wednesday, according to the Syrian state TV. On May 4, the partial ceasefire was announced for Damascus’ East Ghouta and the Latakia province. However, it was ignored by the warring sides more or less. Unconfirmed reports say that the SAA and its allies have been preparing a military operation in the East Ghouta in order to re-capture the villages of Hawsh Al-Farah and Mayda’a.

Pro-government sources argue that at least 60 militants have been killed and many more injured in clashes while the SAA and Hezbollah lost about 30 fighters.

Clashes are ongoing in the city of Deir Ezzor where ISIS launched a full-scale offensive to capture Tahtuh District, located near the military airport. ISIS’ media outlet “Al-‘Amaq” has already reported that the militants captured the district. Pro-government sources deny this.

The US-led coalition is concerned about tensions between the so-called “opposition groups” rebel factions and the Kurdish-led SDF forces in Syria, especially in the Aleppo province, where the Jihadists launched a full-scale offensive last week. However, according to US-led coalition’s Operation Inherent Resolve spokesperson, Col. Steve Warren, this doesn’t affect the support that the coalition provides to both Kurds and rebels. The US continues to provide support to the sides that clash with each other.

On May 9, Iraqi forces liberated the village of Kabrouk as part of their push to retake Mosul, one of the least important urban areas under ISIS’ control.

Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said that a top ISIS commander, Abu Wahib, also known as Shakir Wahib, and 3 other ISIS members were killed when by a US airstrike near the town of Rutbah in Iraq’s Anbar province on May 6.

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