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Will rebel defenses in Jobar collapse soon?

MENAroundupMENA Roundup is a weekly publication containing insightful articles on politics in the Mid
August 9 · Issue #50 · View online

MENA Roundup is a weekly publication containing insightful articles on politics in the Middle East, focussing on Syria and Iraq.

Key developments
  • Despite a Russian-backed truce in northern Homs and Eastern Ghouta, clashes including heavy weapons occured. The regime is shelling the eastern suburbs of Damascus in particular, where rebels have dug in and continue to resist. According to reports, Failag al-Rahman inflicted heavy casualties on the regime’s 4th Division.
  • Following the battle between Hezbollah, the Lebanese army and jihadist elements near the Lebanese town of Arsal, more than 5.000 Syrians, including 1000 fighters, have been transferred to Idlib.
  • Pro-regime forces seized al-Sukhna, the Islamic State’s remaining stronghold in Homs. Yet, the regime forces battled its way to al-Sukhna only through a small corridor. ISIS reportedly launches counterattacks from its surrounding positions.
  • The rebel movement Ahrar al-Sham has a new top commander: Hassan Soufan replaced Ali Omar. 
  • Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Ministry has emphasized its stance that Assad has to go. However, Riyadh’s actual behaviour indicates the opposite: Similar to Turkey, the Saudis have effectively accepted Bashar al-Assad’s (…and his allies) rule over major parts of Syria. 
  • Iranian-led militias claim that US airstrikes killed dozens of its fighters including Iranian commanders in Iraq near the US garrison at al-Tanf. US and Iraqi officials denied that accusation and pointed to the Islamic State. 
Articles worth reading
Syria: A Tale of Three Cities
“Our Allies” Film Highlights the Role of Iranian-backed Militias in America’s Anti-ISIS Coalition
Why One of Syria’s Biggest Rebel Groups Reordered Its Leadership
Salman meets al-Sadr: Saudi Arabia in search of an Iraqi Shia nationalist
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