Syria Direct: News Update 5-11-15

Full control of Jisr a-Shughour in rebel sights

Rebel forces are meters away from the last regime stronghold in the vicinity of Jisr a-Shughour after Jabhat a-Nusra fighters conducted a commando-style suicide operation targeting the National Hospital building, a local media activist from the city told Syria Direct Monday.

“The emergency wing has been totally destroyed, and regime forces inside the building are almost defeated,” said Tareq Abdul-Haq.

In Sunday's attack, one JAN fighter blew himself up in a booby-trapped vehicle before others entered the building, reported pro-opposition Sham News Network. It was not immediately clear whether the fighters who conducted the raid had been killed.

Concurrent with the fighting around the National Hospital, rebels held off regime forces on several fronts around Jisr a-Shugour, including the Sugar Factory directly to the southeast of the city and on the Ariha-Jisr a-Shuhour road, reported al-Hayat. Those fronts are still active as of publishing, said Abdul Haq.

“Army and armed forces units gained fire-based control over all the axes leading to Jisr a-Shuhour,” reported state-owned news agency SANA Sunday.

Among the 40 air raids the regime conducted on Jisr a-Shughour and its outskirts Sunday, two targeted a unit of the National Hospital, suggesting that rebels were inside, reported the SOHR.

Roughly 250 regime soldiers are holed up in the hospital, including some high-level officials, reported pan-Arab daily al-Hayat Monday. 

 JAN targets the National Hospital with a suicide attack. Photo courtesy of Zaid Benjamin.

Regime recaptures electricity generation plant

Regime forces recaptured an electricity generation plant in the al-Ghab plains region of Hama province Monday that feeds surrounding areas, the spokesman for the Hama Revolutionary Council told Syria Direct Monday.

“The village of Zeizun [where the plant is located] is still in rebel hands” as of Monday, even as the regime took control of the plant itself, which supplies electricity to the al-Ghab area and the northern Hama countryside in addition to the southern Idlib countryside, said Khalid Abu Saeed of the council, a pro-opposition media campaign that covers military developments in Hama province.

Rebels took control of Zeizun and the electricity generation plant on Sunday, reported pro-opposition Smart News.

Reports of Amal Movement sending fighters to Syria

The Lebanese army announced on Sunday that it would not fight in Qalamoun, the Daily Star reported, while claims surfaced elsewhere in the Lebanese media that the Shiite political party Amal had started sending fighters to the Lebanese-Syria border region.

The Lebanese army is “limited to dealing with attacks on Lebanese sovereignty,” a Lebanese general was quoted as saying in a statement published by the Daily Star Sunday.

Meanwhile, the Lebanese newspaper al-Janoubia published pictures of trucks mounted with machine guns and the flag of the Amal Movement, claiming the party had started sending supporters to fight in Syria’s side of the Qalamoun mountains.

The reports come as regime forces reinforced by Hezbollah continue to attack rebel positions on the Syrian side of the Qalamoun mountains.