Less than two weeks after the breakdown of an effective non-aggression pact, the jihadist Islamic State and President Assad’s forces are fighting on multiple fronts.
Both sides claimed advances on Saturday, but the Islamic State appears to be on the offensive near Raqqa in northern Syria, in the center of the country, and in Hasakah Province in the east. A day after claiming the capture of the Division 17 base near Raqqa, the Islamic State said it had moved into parts of the Regiment 121 base near Hasakeh and had taken southern parts of the city.
Islamic State fighters on the periphery of the Regiment 121 base:
The regime countered with claims that it had recaptured the Al Sha’er gasfield in central Syria, seized by the jihadists 10 days ago with the killing of scores of guards.
In a statement, the Syrian military tried to tie the Islamic State to Washington and Israel, insisting, “The criminal acts of the terrorist groups, including murders, targeting and sabotaging the infrastructure and economic institutions, prove the link between these groups and the U.S.-Zionist scheme, which aims at fragmenting the region and plundering its resources.”
Video: Insurgents Capture Weapons and Ammunition from Depot in Khattab in Hama Province
Opposition fighters celebrate the capture of arms at a depot in Khattab in Hama Province:
The Free Syrian Army claimed that it killed at least 28 Syrian troops when it took control of a military base after two days of clashes.
The insurgents said they captured three tanks as well as two arms depots.
Car Bomb in Azaz on Turkey Border
A car bomb exploded on Saturday in Azaz on the Turkish border.
The Aleppo Media Center said a number of people were killed and injured.
Claims circulated of another car bomb in Atmeh, also near the border.
The jihadist Islamic State was forced out of positions in northwest Syria earlier this year by insurgents, and has been suspected of a series of car bombings in the area.
Insurgents Down Regime Helicopter Gunship in Aleppo
Insurgents shot down a Syrian helicopter gunship in the Nairab section of Aleppo on Saturday.
A local activist, Abu Saeed Izzedine, said the crashed helicopter killed four people, including a child. It was unclear if the casualties included the crew of the helicopter.
The gunships are often used to drop barrel bombs on insurgent-held areas in and near Syria’s largest city.