Aleppo: People in Al-Bab Rally against Turkish Army, Allies
The people in al-Bab city in the Northern parts of Aleppo rallied to protest at the Turkish army and its allies' deployment in the region.
Local sources in al-Bab reported that people held protest rallies in Sheikh Aqil district of al-Bab which has been occupied by the Turkish army and Ankara-backed militants.
They added that tens of people in the region carried placards to protest at Ankara and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's policies.
They also chanted slogans including "Erdogan listen! We don’t obey your cruel army. This place belongs to us".
The rally was held after Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Veysi Kaynak said the country is considering establishing a base near the Syrian city of al-Bab.
Kaynak said location of the base currently being considered by the Turkish General Staff is Aqil Hill, West of al-Bab.
The Turkish military established a temporary base at the strategic site after capturing it in February and has been considering turning it into something more permanent since.
Speaking after a trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kaynak added that Turkish military presence in the area has been reduced from 8,000 at the peak of the Operation Euphrates Shield to 1,500.
Turkey sent its military into Syria in August last year to prop up local militias allied with Ankara against ISIL and Kurdish forces. The confrontation with Syrian Kurd militias, which Turkey considers an off-shoot of the Turkish-based militant movement Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), put Ankara at odds with the US.
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Talking Tactics, Lacking Strategy
I sincerely doubt that any operation to conquer Raqqa city will happen anytime soon. The only troops available for that are Syrian Kurds of the YPG. But the Kurds demanded public political guarantees from the U.S. for their future autonomy in exchange for efforts (and many casualties in their rows) in the city of Raqqa. The U.S. can not give such a commitment as its NATO partner Turkey is adamantly against that. In the press briefing the generals declared that isolating ISIS and blocking its fighters from moving out is now the most important issue for them. I understand that as hint that there is a plan for a siege of the city of Raqqa but no for moving into it.
200,000 IDPs from Raqqa live in unbearable conditions
Syria in Last 24 Hours: Army Regains Control of More Areas in Homs, Inches Closer to Winning Entire City
The Syrian army continued its advances in Homs, and captured more strategic districts in the city as local officials said that the government forces are close to taking full control of the entire city.
The army units drove the ISIL terrorists out of key areas and their surrounding areas in Homs city.
The Syrian troops inflicted heavy losses on the terrorists in fierce clashes over controlling of strategic regions. They also destroyed military equipment of the terrorists.
The Syrian army also continued its advances in other key provinces across Syria.
Local officials underscored that sustainable security will be soon restored to Homs city after full evacuation of the remaining pockets of gunmen from al-Wa'er district.
The sources said that the Syrian Army soldiers will soon restore full security to Homs city as the last phase of the evacuation of gunmen that refused to endorse the peace agreement with the Syrian Army from al-Wa'er district is underway.
They added that Homs city will be emptied of terrorists and weapon as soon as the last phase of the evacuation of gunmen and their family members from al-Wa'er ends.
The 12th phase of the peace agreement in al-Wa'er is under way.
Homs Governor General Talal al-Barazi said some units of the interior security forces will enter al-Wa'er and will be deployed in the district's main parts to guard civilians' rights.
He further added that peace talks with gunmen in al-Rastan and al-Houleh are also underway.
Local sources confirmed earlier on Sunday that a sum of 780 gunmen and their family members were evacuated from al-Wa'er district near Homs city to be relocated to militant-held regions in Idlib and Aleppo provinces.
The sources said that 250 gunmen that had not endorsed the peace agreement with the Syrian Army left al-Wa'er district along with 623 of their family members for Idlib province and the border town of Jarabulus in Northern Aleppo on 20 buses within the framework of the last phase of an evacuation deal between militants and the army.
The sources added that evacuation of gunmen from al-Wa'er was carried out under the supervision of the Syrian Red Crescent, interior security forces and the Russian military police.
The Syrian Army troops continued their military operations against the ISIL terrorists in Eastern Aleppo and captured more strategic farms and regions after hours of non-stop clashes.
The army soldiers engaged in fierce clashes with ISIL and managed to take control over Tal Hasan train station, al-Qayed station, the third Farm and the farms in areas around sugar factory near the town of Maskana in Eastern Aleppo.
The local sources confirmed that after the capture of Tal Hasan train station, the army men created a large safe region around the town of Deir Hafer.
The Syrian Army troops engaged in fierce clashes with terrorist groups along Sweida-Dara'a road, repelling their attack and inflicting major losses on them.
The terrorists of Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at (the Levant Liberation Board) launched a surprise attack along the Sweida-Dara'a road, targeting the army's defense lines near the historical town of Busra al-Sham.
Tahrir al-Sham and its terrorists allies attempted to advance into the Southwestern countryside of Sweida, but, they would find themselves overwhelmed by the army’s 5th Armored Division and pro-government National Defense Forces (NDF).
According to a military source in Sweida, the terrorists suffered heavy casualties during their ill-fated assault East of Busra al-Sham.
Reports said earlier on Sunday that the army troops continued their anti-terrorism operation towards the border region near al-Tanf passageway and managed to recapture a key region in Sweida province near the border with Jordan.
The army men engaged in tough battle with Jeish al-Hor terrorists in Eastern Sweida and managed to take back control over the strategic region of al-Zalaf Dam region at Sweida-Jordan border.
The army men also drove terrorists out of Zahra Um al-Salasel and al-Eiseh.
Well-informed sources said, meantime, that the army units also took control over 50 sq/km of Sweida Badiyeh (desert) which was under the control of the terrorists of Jeish al-Ahrar al-Ashayer and Jeish al-Aswad al-Sharqiyeh.
The Syrian Air Force carried out several combat flights over ISIL's movements and concentration centers in the Southern outskirts of Deir Ezzur city, inflicting major losses on the terrorists.
The army aircraft bombed ISIL's positions heavily in al-Maqaber (cemetery) region, killing and wounding a large number of terrorists and destroying their arms and ammunition.
The Army's missile and artillery units, meantime, opened fire at ISIL's gathering centers and movements in around Regiment 137 base along the road of al-Maleha, killing and wounding a number of terrorists.
A sum of 2,650 gunmen and their family members have left Barzeh district for other militant held regions, Damascus Governor General Bashr al-Saban announced.
Al-Saban said that 1,076 gunmen that refused to join peace with the Syrian government left Barzeh district along with 1,596 of their family members for other militant-held regions in line with the third phase of the implementation of peace plan in the district.
Local officials confirmed earlier in May that over 1,200 gunmen and their family members left Barzeh and Tishrin districts for Idlib province in the second phase of an evacuation deal between the Syrian Army and the militants.
Bashr al-Saban said at the time that 1,246 people, including 718 gunmen, were evacuated from the districts of Tishrin in Eastern Damascus and Barzeh in Northern Damascus.
He added that the evacuated gunmen and their family members left their district for Idlib province.
In the meantime, tens of gunmen that had not joined the peace agreement with the Syrian government left Barzeh along with their family members for Northern Aleppo.
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ISIL Flees Al-Qaim City at Iraqi-Syrian Border
Iraqi sources reported that the ISIL terrorists have fled al-Qa'em city in al-Anbar province.
"The ISIL has evacuated its members from al-Qa'em city at the Iraq's border with Syria," the source was quoted as saying by the Arabic website of Sputnik news agency on Monday.
The source said ISIL leaders and members have all been relocated to the Western deserts in Iraq, and the reason is that great number of casualties of the terrorist group in recent airstrikes.
Military sources confirmed earlier this month that tens of ISIL terrorists have been killed and tens of others have been injured in the Iraqi Air attacks on militants' positions in a region near the border with Syria.
The sources said that 100 ISIL terrorists were killed and hundreds more were wounded in the Iraqi fighter jets' combat sorties in Anbar province at Iraq's border with Syria after Iraqi Prime Minister Haydar al-Abadi declared the start of a fresh round of cleansing operations in desert regions at Iraq's border with Syria to restore sustainable security to common border.
The Arabic-language Elam al-Harbi reported that eleven Iraqi warplanes targeted ISIL's gathering centers in the towns of Anah and al-Qa'em.
The source added that 47 ISIL terrorists were killed in Anah and 53 more were killed in al-Qa'em, adding several positions used by the terrorists to make missiles and bomb-laden suicide vehicles and a depot of drones were destroyed in the air raids.
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Iraqi Police Shell ISIL Locations in Mosul’s Old City Preparing for Decisive Invasion
Iraqi Federal Police forces pounded ISIL locations in Western Mosul’s Old City on Monday preparing for the invasion of the group’s last bastion in that region.
The service’s commander, Lt. Gen. Shaker Jawdat, said in a press statement that police used heavy artillery and Grad rockets, backed by drones, to strike dozens of targets including command centers, supply stores, artillery and transportation vehicles belonging to the group, Iraqi News reported.
Deputy Federal Police commander, Maj. Gen Jaafar al-Battat, was quoted as saying in statements that the density of the civilian population in the Old City had obliged the delay in the invasion until districts overlooking it from the Northwest were retaken.
Only four districts are left under ISIL militants’ control : the Old City: Zanjili, al-Shifaa abd al-Sihha, according to Battat, who added that the Old City had recently seen an increase in militants numbers as many sought refuge there after Iraqi forces had retaken areas to the northwest, most notably the 17 Tamuz and Iktisadiyeen districts.
Iraqi troops recaptured Eastern Mosul in January after three months of fighting, and the Iraqi security command said earlier this week in controls 89.5 percent of the western side of the city, three months after a second phase of the campaign launched to recapture that region.
The densely populated and structured Old City is the place where ISIL ringleader Abu Bakr al-Bagdadi proclaimed the establishment of the group’s rule in Iraq and Syria.
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