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Syria Direct: News Update 10-2-14

Coalition targets Manbij US-led coalition warplanes bombed the vicinity of […]

2 October 2014

Coalition targets Manbij

US-led coalition warplanes bombed the vicinity of Manbij in Aleppo province late Wednesday night, striking positions along a road that runs from the Islamic State-controlled city into Iraq, reported the pro-opposition Local Coordination Committees (LCC).

The coalition also targeted the IS-controlled Tishreen dam on the Euphrates River, used for electricity generation and located roughly 35 km southeast of Manbij.

 Coalition strikes hit Jabhat a-Nusra targets in western Aleppo province. Photo courtesy of SOHR.

Manbij has witnessed heavy bombing since the coalition began its campaign last week. On Sunday, warplanes destroyed grain silos in the city, an act “which foreshadows a humanitarian disaster,” reported the pro-opposition Aleppo Media Center.

Also on Wednesday, coalition warplanes struck Brigade 93 in the city of Ain Eisa in A-Raqqa province, formerly a regime base that IS captured in early August and turned into a headquarters, reported pro-opposition news site Aksalser.

Regime advances against last rebel strongholds in Latakia

The Syrian army captured two rebel-controlled villages in northern Latakia province Wednesday as it moved closer to Salma, the seat of rebel power in the area, reported pro-regime newspaper Al-Watan.

“The regime stormed the area from nearby Dorin Mountain [southwest of Salma] where fighting began with [regime] artillery fire that cut off the rebel supply routes there,” Bnan al-Hussein, a Latakia-based spokesperson for General Agency for the Syrian Revolution, told Syria Direct Thursday.

The regime reportedly managed to kill three Jabhat a-Nusra leaders in the attack, including a Saudi man and a Yemeni man, reported Hezbollah’s media arm Al-Manar.

Jabhat a-Nusra, along with Ahrar a-Sham and Ansar a-Sham, are the most powerful opposition groups in the area, but have largely been pushed out of the province by a combination of Syrian army, shabiha [pro-Assad militia], and Lebanese Hezbollah fighters.

Nusra seeks to keep Qalamoun open

Rebel forces led by Jabhat a-Nusra attacked the regime and Hezbollah-controlled town of Asal al-Ward in the Qalamoun mountains along the Syria-Lebanon border Wednesday, aiming to maintain free passage between the countries, reported pro-opposition news Smart News Agency and the monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Nusra has been active along Syria’s western border in the past several months, routinely crossing into Lebanese territory and fighting Lebanese forces.

The Syrian army repelled armed groups in the area, killing 10 militants and wounding at least 20 others, Al-Manar reported.

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