Syria Daily, Jan 11: The Fight Against Islamic State of Iraq in Aleppo Province

Scott Lucas
By Scott Lucas January 11, 2014 05:49 Updated

Syria Daily, Jan 11: The Fight Against Islamic State of Iraq in Aleppo Province

Story Highlights

  • ISIS reportedly fighting insurgents in al-Bab, northeast of Aleppo
  • Unconfirmed claims of almost 500 killed in eight days
  • Aleppo activists say regime forces advance in city

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LATEST: Activists — Regime Troops Advance In and Near Aleppo

Unconfirmed reports claim that the Islamic State of Iraq and as-Sham, pushed out of most of its positions across northern Syria, is continuing to fight insurgents in Aleppo Province.

Clashes were reported in the town of al-Bab, northeast of Aleppo:


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Rumors of ISIS resistance, including suicide bombs, in al-Bab have circulated for several days. Claims that the group has also hit back at insurgents, including in the city of Raqqa, are also unconfirmed, as is the declaration of almost 500 deaths since insurgents began pushing back ISIS eight days ago.


Activists: Regime Troops Advance In and Near Aleppo

The Aleppo Media Center has said that regime forces have taken advantage of the insurgent fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and as-Sham to advance in and near Aleppo.

THe Center said, “Regime forces have taken over the area of Naqarin and are advancing towards the industrial area of Aleppo city.”

Video: Claimed Footage of ISIS Emir Abu Umar al-Shishani in al-Bab, Aleppo

The Dnevnik Shama (“Diary of Sham”) YouTube channel, which appears to be run by individuals close to Chechen and North Caucasian fighters in Syria, on Saturday published this video of ISIS Emir Abu Umar al-Shishani. The video claims to show Umar and his men around a campfire following the “actions in al-Bab”.

Several other videos show ISIS insurgents from the North Caucasus. This video shows an ISIS fighter named as Abu Khafs Shishani, who according to other reports is in Aleppo province:

This video, apparently shot on a cellphone, shows a young Russian-speaking jihadi named as “Brother Yusuf”. He is asked to say a few words about his feelings regarding events, for the benefit of those back home in the North Caucasus and Russia. Yusuf says, “Here there is jihad, and there, too, there is jihad… Here we are fighting the infidels, and there are infidels there…”. Later, he adds, “The Olympics should burn”, a reference to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

The owner of the Dnevnik Shama YouTube account, who also runs an account on Russian social networking site VK, posted on that account claimed images of at least six men allegedly taken captive by the North Caucasian ISIS fighters. The caption accompanying the images said the men were from “Jaish Khur”, meaning the Free Syrian Army (Jaish al-Hur in Arabic).
There is no way to verify the authenticity of the images.

Video: Insurgents Deny Assad Troops Advance After ISIS Retreat in Aleppo Province

The insurgents of the leading faction Ahrar al-Sham deny that regime forces have advanced after the retreat of Islamic State of Iraq and as-Sham fighters from the front-line near Kuwaires airbase in Aleppo Province:

Food Crisis in Besieged Yarmouk in Southern Damascus

The Daily Star of Lebanon reports:

Yarmouk was originally a camp for Syria’s Palestinian refugees but has since expanded into a sprawling neighborhood in Damascus’ rebel-held southern belt. It has been encircled by troops loyal to President Bashar Assad since February.

On the second day of Ramadan, July 10, government forces tightened their grip on the area and sealed off a checkpoint that was the area’s only gateway to the capital, which was previously only sporadically open to allow through aid and fleeing residents.

The movement of food, medicine and people came to a complete halt.

“Civilians are totally forbidden from going out of the camp. At the same time, no food is coming in. They [the soldiers] have refused to let in vaccines for polio, measles, chickenpox and flu,” said Abdullah, an activist who has been stuck inside the neighborhood for over a year.

“We are surviving day by day.”

Thousands of people fled the neighborhood before the siege began, but activists estimate that around 20,000 remain trapped, subsisting mostly on one meal a day. But with stocks of dry food like rice and bulgur running dangerously low, even those meals often consist of grass and leaves.

Videos: Claimed Islamic State of Iraq Car Bomb in Idlib Province

Claimed footage of the aftermath of a Islamic State of Iraq a car bomb targeting insurgent in Tel Mardikh in Idlib Province:

On Russian Social Media, Rumors Fly About Umar al-Shishani

Mirroring the rest of the social web, Russian social networking sites are buzzing with rumors of the fate and whereabouts of the ethnic Chechen ISIS Emir Abu Umar al-Shishani, with reports that he is leading a group of fighters in the battles against other insurgent factions.

The SHAM TODAY account, which claims to be run by pro-ISIS factions close to North Caucasian fighters in Syria posted this image of Umar:

umar at night

The same account is reporting a rumor that North Caucasian fighters were involved in a battle to take Al Bayanoon in Aleppo province on Thursday and that 12 North Caucasian fighters blew themselves up in three suicide bombings. It is not possible, of course, to verify the accuracy of these or any rumors circulating.

Video: The Defeat of Islamic State of Iraq in al-Dana

Orient News’s report on the withdrawal of the Islamic State of Iraq from al-Dana, the first town that it controlled in northwest Syria:

Ms Assad Visits a School

State media highlights a visit by Asma al-Assad on Thursday to a school, “surprising the students of basic education, sons and daughters of the martyrs, while they were taking their first semester exams”.

SYRIA ASMA ASSAD

According to SANA, the “supervisor of the schools thanked Mrs. Asma for her continuous interest in the martyrs and their sons as this represents a continuation of President Bashar al-Assad’s care about the martyrs and their sons”.

Funeral for Thursday’s Bomb Victims in Hama Province

State news agency SANA’s photograph of the funeral for 17 people who were killed by a bombing in al-Kafat in Hama Province on Thursday — no group claimed responsibility:

SYRIA HAMA BOMB VICTIMS

Scott Lucas
By Scott Lucas January 11, 2014 05:49 Updated
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7 Comments

  1. Genome45 January 12, 02:02

    There is no sign of end for the clashes between ISIS and the other rebels.

    It mean that a new long term front is likely.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Genome45 January 12, 01:58

    New result of rebel infighting:

    - IF and FSA associates crushing ISIS in Islib governorate. Saraqeb has fallen to them.

    - ISIS is crushing IF and FSA associated in Raqqa governorate. ISIS took full control of Tal Abyad (including the border crossing nearby) and have seized several rebel position in Raqqa city itself (the train station notably). ISIS also dumped the corpses of dozen dead rebels in a village.

    - In Aleppo governorate, infighting is more balanced with advances and losses by both sides.

    The SAA is now exploiting the result of this and has started to advance to completely encircle eastern Aleppo.

    Reply to this comment
  3. RedTornadoes January 11, 17:42

    Items in my new Syria Roundup which I’ve just posted and is awaiting approval at:

    http://iranian.com/FG3049

    1. Jahhat blows up a Gestapo HQs in Harasta for third time in 14 months

    2. Regime is reportedly supplying shells, ammo and weapons to Al Queda in Raqaa via a nearby supply base. It has previously provided air support to Al Queda forces.

    3. Regime claims to have caputred a Jabhat commander in women’s clothes–a guy shown executing 20 regime thugs earlier.

    4. Important question: Was it a missile or a manpads that downed a regime aircraft in Aleppo today?

    Reply to this comment
  4. Alex January 11, 14:10

    Mark ‏@markito0171 3m

    #Syria #Aleppo #SAA dropped TNT barrel on northern #Bayanoon- hours after #Islamic_Front kicked terrorist #ISIS out of the suburb

    Mark ‏@markito0171 4m

    #Assad’s #SAA & #al_Bagdadi’s #ISIS-terrorists working hand in hand in #Syria

    Reply to this comment
  5. Catmari January 11, 11:39

    The Culture of Rebellion in Syria
    By Faysal Itani, Atlantic Council

    The latest rebel infighting in Syria illustrates how profoundly the uprising has changed Syrian political culture. In the last week, rebel groups across a broad ideological spectrum mounted coordinated attacks on transnational jihadist militants in the country’s central and northern provinces. The campaign’s scale, motives, and apparent effectiveness challenges the conventional wisdom that jihadists hijacked the revolution or that the uprising has lost its legitimacy altogether.

    Continue reading: http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/menasource/the-culture-of-rebellion-in-syria

    Reply to this comment
    • Benzidrine January 11, 14:38

      This analysis while well written I simply do not understand.

      The infighting was primarily between the IF jihadist group and the ISIS jihadist group. I really don’t see how that challenges the idea that “jihadists hijacked the revolution”. To me it does the exact opposite.

      You might be able to say the revolution belongs to primarily national jihadists rather than transnational Khalifate jihadists but even then I think it is a bit early to make that summation.

      Reply to this comment
      • Catmari January 11, 18:12

        “jihadists hijacked the revolution” means from from the original civilian, peaceful protesters who started the revolution and the secular-leaning to moderately Islamic FSA groups who formed six months into the uprising.

        The rest of the article is quite clear: since this whole horrible conflict has at least had the benefit of helping people lose their fear of the Assad regime, now they have also lost their fear of ISIS and have joined in the campaign against ISIS with the same kind of protests and media activities as they once engaged in to struggle against Assad.

        Reply to this comment
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