Syria's Opposition has its Back to the Wall

Revue
 
MENAroundupMENA Roundup is a weekly publication containing insightful articles on politics in the Mid
 
August 30 · Issue #53 · View online
MENAroundup
MENAroundup
MENA Roundup is a weekly publication containing insightful articles on politics in the Middle East, focussing on Syria and Iraq. 
lars@menaroundup.com

Key developments
  • The UN has called for a pause in the offensive on Raqqa pointing on the at least 20.000 civilians that are trapped in the city. A report by Amnesty International documents how hundreds of civilians have been killed by US airstrikes and artillery fire, Islamic State snipers and IEDs. Also, the Assad regime is bombing areas south of Raqqa with internationally banned cluster bombs.
  • Apparently, the UN and rebel-backing countries are trying to harmonize the various opposition blocs before a new round of discussions starts in Geneva. According to a source close to those developments, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told the opposition it was time to formulate “a new vision.”
  • As part of a deal, at least 20 busses have evacuated more than 300 IS militants from the western Qalamoun to Deir ez-Zor province after Hezbollah negotiated a ceasefire that halted its joint offensive with the Lebanese Armed Forces. 
  • Pro-Assad forces are about to clear the area north of the Homs-Palmyra highway completely.
  • Pro-Assad force apparently have repelled a huge Islamic State counteroffensive in southern Raqqa. IS militants now retreat to Deir ez-Zor which is the only significant remaining area where the jihadists control territory. 
  • An official from the Syrian Democratic Forces said that said the group will soon launch an offensive on Deir ez-Zor.
Articles worth reading
How Do You Anticipate the Upcoming Battle With the Islamic State for Deir Ezzor?
What Hezbollah’s Safe Transfer Deal with ISIS Means for Lebanon
Loyalists Denounce Assad for Abandoning Coastal War Wounded
Why gender matters in Syria’s rebuilding efforts
A Band of (Muslim) Brothers?
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