Syria Situation Report: June 25 - July 1, 2016

Welcome to the latest installment of the Syria SITREP highlighting key developments in the Syrian Civil War. The SITREP Map is made possible through a partnership between the Institute for the Study of War and Syria Direct. To download the SITREP Map as a PDF, see below. Here's what happened in Syria this week:

June 29: Humanitarian aid enters two towns in Eastern Ghouta. The United Nations and Syrian Arab Red Crescent delivered a convoy carrying humanitarian aid to Zamalka and Irbeen in the Eastern Ghouta Suburbs of Damascus, marking the first such delivery to the two opposition-held towns since 2012.

June 26 – July 1: Opposition claims to down three regime aircraft near Damascus. Prominent Salafi-Jihadist group Jaysh al-Islam claimed to shoot down two fighter jets near the Sayqal Military Airbase in the Eastern Qalamoun Mountains as well as a helicopter near Damascus. The claims follow unconfirmed reports that Jaysh al-Islam deployed up to five 9K33 ‘Osa’ surface-to-air missile systems near the capital.

June 27 – July 1: Jaysh al-Fatah launches offensive in Northern Latakia Province. The Jaysh al-Fatah Operations Room – a coalition that includes Syrian Al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat a-Nusra and Salafi-Jihadist group Ahrar a-Sham – announced the ‘Battle of Yarmouk’ in Northern Latakia Province. Jaysh al-Fatah later seized the key town of Kinsabba in the Jabal al-Akrad Region of Northern Latakia Province on July 1 following clashes with pro-regime forces.

June 30: Suicide bomber targets Jaysh al-Fatah in Idlib City. An unidentified militant detonated a motorcycle-borne improvised explosive device at a checkpoint manned by the Jaysh al-Fatah Operations Room in Idlib City, killing at least two opposition fighters and injuring at least ten others.

June 27: Unidentified airstrike targets prominent jihadist cleric. Unidentified warplanes conducted an airstrike on a car in Idlib Province, injuring prominent jihadist cleric Sheikh Abdullah al-Mohisni. Mohisni is closely affiliated with Syrian Al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat a-Nusra.

June 28: Pro-regime forces tighten encirclement of Aleppo City. Pro-regime forces seized large parts of the Mallah Farms north of Aleppo City, establishing fire control over the Castello Road – the last major supply route into opposition-held districts of the city. The Jaysh al-Fatah Operations Room later launched a counterattack to recapture the area.

June 25 – July 1: Syrian Democratic Forces advance in Manbij. The Syrian Democratic Forces seized the Manbij Grain Silos south of Manbij with the assistance of coalition airstrikes, establishing control over the southern entrance to the town. The U.S. Department of Defense noted that the Syrian Democratic Forces also seized the entrance to an “tunnel complex” used by IS as well as large amounts of intelligence on foreign fighter flows.

June 29: Islamic State detonates SVBIED in Tel Abyad. IS detonated an SVBIED near an administrative building in the border town of Tel Abyad in Northern A-Raqqa Province, killing at least ten individuals and wounding over twenty others.

June 25: Airstrikes kill nearly fifty civilians in Eastern Syria. Suspected Russian warplanes targeted a mosque in the IS-held town of Quriyah in Eastern Deir e-Zour Province during morning prayers, killing at least forty-seven civilians and wounding dozens of others.

June 28 - 29: New Syrian Army mounts failed attempt to seize Abu Kamal. The New Syrian Army – a vetted opposition group that participated in the U.S. Department of Defense ‘train-and-equip’ program - announced the start of Operation ‘Day of Wrath’ on June 28 in order to seize the key ISheld town of Abu Kamal on the Syrian-Iraqi Border. The New Syrian Army seized the Hamdan Airbase and several other positions with the aid of coalition airstrikes but later withdrew after heavy resistance from IS. IS claimed to kill at least forty fighters from the New Syrian Army in the clashes.

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