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Syria Direct: News Update 2-5-15

IS gains south of Deir e-Zor airport The Islamic State […]

5 February 2015

IS gains south of Deir e-Zor airport

The Islamic State captured points around the southern front of the regime-controlled Deir e-Zor military airport that will allow it to fire directly inside, an activist told Syria Direct on Thursday.

“From these positions, [IS] can fire upon the airport’s runways,” said Mohammed Hassan, a media activist in Deir e-Zor city.

The military airport is the last major regime base in the province. The IS gains impede recent regime progress capturing territory around the facility, reported pro-opposition Smart News Agency.

At least nine IS fighters died as a result of a barrel bomb attack on their positions, Hassan added.

IS is also preparing to retake the area north of the airport, according to Smart News.

Last the week, the regime launched an offensive around the airport that pushed back IS fighters, who have been trying to storm the base for months.

For its part, pro-regime news channel Al-Masar reported that the Syrian army had advanced around the airport and killed a number of “terrorists.”

IS controls most of the eastern, oil-rich province of Deir e-Zor, but has thus far been unable to dislodge regime forces from the military airport, located next to the eponymous provincial capital.

SNHR: 20 massacres in January

The Syrian Network for Human Rights documented at least 20 massacres committed in January, the majority of which occurred at the hands of the regime, in a report released Wednesday.

The SNHR defines a massacre as any attack that results in the death of five or more civilians at one time.

Regime forces committed 16 of the 20 massacres, opposition forces one, and three were committed by unidentifiable parties.

Five massacres occurred in the Damascus countryside, five in Aleppo, and four in Deir e-Zor province.

Daraa43Locals remove a body buried under rubble in Daraa Wednesday. Photo courtesy of Naba’a.

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