Syria Direct: News Update 5-6-15

IS moves to take Keweyris airport

The Islamic State tried for the second day in a row Wednesday to storm the regime-controlled Keweyris Military Airport, a launching site for barrel bomb attacks across the province in the eastern Aleppo countryside.

Should IS take the airport, “it would open up a path for them to capture the Defense Factories in a-Safirah,” Hussein al-Khatab, head of the pro-opposition a-Safirah News Center, told Syria Direct Wednesday.

The Defense Factories' barracks is a barrel bomb production site and a launching pad for regime air raids in Aleppo, Idlib, and Hama provinces.

As of late Tuesday night, IS fighters had taken control of the officers' quarters and flight training center in the Keweyris airport, according to pro-IS Twitter accounts.

Pro-regime TS news reported Tuesday that Syrian army soldiers had destroyed two car bombs before they reached the airport. In the ensuing clashes, “no breach of the airport's wall” occurred.

Keweyris airport has been encircled by rebel forces since 2012—first by Ahrar a-Sham, then the Islamic State when the latter took control of the area.

JAI fully recaptures Medaa

Jaish al-Islam announced Tuesday that it had retaken full control of an East Ghouta village close to its stronghold of Douma from regime forces, reported pro-opposition Smart News.

The Syrian army tried to storm Medaa on Sunday. Pro-regime al-Mayadeen network reported Sunday that the army had captured Medaa and the surrounding farms, just as it “laid low large numbers of militants, both killed and wounded.”

JAI spokesman Islam Alloush denied that narrative to Syria Direct on Monday, noting that the “school and the mosque,” two of the most well-known landmarks in the town, “are still under Jaish al-Islam control.”

After regaining full control of the town Tuesday, rebel fighters captured the nearby a-Spidaj factories and village of Tel Asfar, reported pro-opposition Masar Press Wednesday.

Jaish al-Islam captures Medaa on Tuesday. Photo courtesy of Jaish al-Islam News.

Rebels clear pro-IS faction out of Quneitra

Rebel fighters captured pro-Islamic State forces’ last outpost in the Quneitra province after more than a week of fighting on Tuesday, reported pro-opposition Alaan News.
 
“The town of Qahtaniya in Quneitra has been completely liberated from pro-Daesh gangs and dozens of them killed,” the Islamic Front declared on its Twitter account Tuesday, a statement echoed by other Islamist factions cooperating in a campaign to clear Quneitra of pro-IS forces.
 
The fighting until now has resulted in the deaths of 30 IS supporters and 24 rebel fighters, reported the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.