Syria Daily: Islamic State Repels Attack by US-Supported Force

PHOTO: New Syrian Army fighters before the defeat of their assault on ISIS-held Abukamal on Wednesday



Rebels Defeat Regime Offensive Near Aleppo

The Islamic State has repelled an attack by a US-supported force in eastern Syria.

The New Syrian Army, created last year to challenge ISIS along the Jordanian and Iraqi borders, launched the assault late Tuesday on Abukamal, on the Euphrates River close to Iraq. The town is essential to Islamic State supply lines from Iraq to Syria.

The NSA soon claimed to take territory around the town, including the defunct al-Hamdan airbase, with airdropped troops and activation of “sleeper cells”. A spokesman for the US-led coalition said eight large airstrikes and “advice and assistance” backed the ground operations.

A commander even declared that there were clashes inside Abukamal.

However, by Wednesday afternoon ISIS had regained the lost areas and was proclaiming a decisive victory. The jihadists posted footage of captured weapons and said the NSA had lost more than 40 fighters, with 15 captured.

A rebel source confirmed that the Islamic State had encircled the NSA in a surprise ambush, inflicting heavy casualties: “The news is not good. I can say our troops were trapped and suffered many casualties and several fighters were captured and even weapons were taken.”

NSA spokesman Muzahem al-Saloum confirmed, “We have withdrawn to the outlying desert and the first stage of the campaign has ended. He said most of their fighters had returned to their base at al-Tanf, the town and border crossing to the southwest which was taken from ISIS in early May, although there was some fighting in the desert south of Abukamal.

Another spokesman, Abdulsalem Muzil, tried to portray the offensive as a victory, saying that fighters retreated with most of their weapons and vehicles: “The whole operation was a test of power for the New Syrian Army, and our forces proved they can fight ISIS.”

But the NSA’s Secretary, Khaled al-Hamad, admitted defeat: “The support given to the [Army] was very modest in terms of armament or number of fighters. The number of fighters not helping to move on more than one axis is one reason of the failure.”

He explained that the attack was supposed to be in coordination with Iraqi forces in Anbar Province in western Iraq; however, “the Iraqis did not manage to advance, which led us to stop the battle”.

Regarding another offensive, al-Hamad said, “The whole battle will be reconsidered and everything will be scrutinized.”

Food and Medical Aid Reaches 2 Towns Near Damascus

The Red Cross and Syrian Arab Red Crescent delivered food and medical aid to two blockaded towns near Damascus on Wednesday.

The UN said a 38-truck convoy, with aid for about 20,000 people, reached Zamalka and Erbin.

“Today is the first time we are able to move a joint convoy of the United Nations, the Red Cross and Syrian Red Crescent…to these two towns since November 2012, nearly four years ago,” UN humanitarian coordinator Yacoub El Hillo told reporters.

The Red Cross said the aid included food parcels, wheat flour, hygiene kits, and medicine.

With the deliveries, at least one shipment has reached all besieged areas of Syria since January. However, the assistance has been limited, with some of it apparently diverted by the Syrian military, and Damascus suburbs such as Darayya have been regularly bombed and shelled before and after a convoy.

The Assad regime relaxed barriers to aid after a February 27 cessation of hostilities agreement, but it tightened the blockades in April and May, with the UN able to get to only 5% of hard-to-reach Syrians.

Aid agencies have repeatedly called for regular access to areas under siege, saying that one-off deliveries quickly run out and that those in need remain blockaded.

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Scott Lucas is Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and editor-in-chief of EA WorldView. He is a specialist in US and British foreign policy and international relations, especially the Middle East and Iran. Formerly he worked as a journalist in the US, writing for newspapers including the Guardian and The Independent and was an essayist for The New Statesman before he founded EA WorldView in November 2008.


  1. Intriguing! I hope not being true……..but Josh Rogin gives many details……

    Obama proposes new military partnership with Russia in Syria

    It could be the worst ever possible error for Obama; it could transform Syria into AQ domain.
    Such proposal shows: when Assad could not stop the revolution it brought Hezbollah; later Iran with all world shia militias; when it was not enough …Russian weapons and Russian aviation.
    After 6 months of failures of the regime,Hezbollah,Iran,Russia,does US TO ENTER THE AXIS OF EVIL?

    • After Kobane US was not capable to lead a successful anti ISIS campaign …. and now J.N. is guilty?
      Such move from OBAMA will show him exactly on the same side with Assad …..

    • Frankly, I don’t see the US doing anything meaningful to assist the rebellion in the future. And yes, that includes the likely Clinton presidency with all her hawkishness.

  2. Wow. That New Syrian Army operation was a complete disaster. I wasn’t sure but the statement about most of the fighters retreating all the way back to Al-Tanf seems like the best indicator of the lack of success.

    Although some positive has to be taken from the New Syrian Army initiative. They were emboldened to embark on such a mission to take the most important border area that ISIS control. Mainstream news sources were somewhat misleading in their headlines by saying that ISIS retook Abukamal since the rebels never took it and don’t think they intended to at this point.

  3. “Obama proposes new military partnership with Russia in Syria”
    Under the proposal, which was personally approved by President Obama and heavily supported by Secretary of State John F. Kerry, the American and Russian militaries would cooperate at an unprecedented level, something the Russians have sought for a long time.
    In exchange, the Russians would agree to pressure the Assad regime to stop bombing certain Syrian rebel groups the United States does not consider terrorists. The United States would not give Russia the exact locations of these groups, under the proposal, but would specify geographic zones that would be safe from the Assad regime’s aerial assaults.

    Terrorists: JaF and anyone in the vicinity.
    Non-terrorists: SF, NSyA, VSO aka the Turkish Border Gendarmerie. In other words, all the castrated groups the Axis doesn’t have much to worry about.
    And of course, the best part – Obama’s signature hallmark:
    “One administration official complained that the plan contains no consequences for the Russians or the Assad regime if they don’t hold up their end of the bargain. “

    • Being bombed by the russians and the U.S will be a huge propaganda boost and a blessing for Nusra´s cause (massive worldwide sunni outrage and support will follow). Of course those major powers can´t deal with the taliban nor with ISIS and now they will pick up a fight with JN??. I see clearly that this conflict is spining out of control with Obama almost deliberately leading his country into the abyss. Magic bullet needed!

      • Organizationally they would suffer, probably significantly, but the narratives they maintain would be vindicated on almost every point. As long as that happens, AQ and like-minded groups will eventually regenerate, and grow stronger the moment an opportunity presents itself.

  4. GOOD NEWS: Green billionaire prepares to attack ‘anti-science’ Republicans
    An environmental advocacy group backed by hedge fund tycoon Tom Steyer is set to unleash a seven-state, $100 million offensive against Republican “science deniers” this year, a no-holds-barred campaign-style push from the green billionaire that could help decide which party controls the Senate and key statehouses come November.
    The Steyer-backed outside group, NextGen Climate, has billed itself as a progressive, pro-environment counterbalance to the wealthy oil and gas industry — as well as the primary foil to the pro-business Koch brothers and their well-funded conservative donor network.
    Some, but not all, Democrats in key states will get assistance but not those supporting environmentally unfriendly moves…the 501(c)4 group will play in races that feature a stark choice between “pro-climate action” candidates — all Democrats — and “anti-science” Republicans who have questioned the veracity of climate change or supported the interests of the oil and gas industry.
    Watch this must see video (2:20 minutes) of what could happen to the earth over the next 500 years if we stay on our present course. There’s no doubt about it insist virtually every scientist not obligated by Koch Brothers funding. It’s too big to gamble on by arguing stupidly “Maybe they’re wrong.” It’s akin to putting up your house, your kids and every cent you own on “who will win the World Series a decade from now?”

    Don’t people give a flying Xuck about their children and grandchildren? How can hairdressers and folks like that vote for Trump? Does hatred ot minorities drive them? Do they ever read a thing from real scientists or believe what the Koch Brothers owned scientists say? These are the same blind people who insist “Trump is more trustworthy than Hillary” when it comes to business and “Trump is more likely to keep us safe. Like a Ponzi-scheme salesman Trump exploits and repeats wild promises an idiot knows he can never keep. Like those wh bought into Trump U with the retirement funds or credit card, these suckers believe him simply because the want to and for no other reason. Politically, he’s another Bernie Medoff and Trump voters are his suckers.
    Then there are Bernie’s hard core ideologues who would sell out on issues out of personal spite at losing. They repeat the GOP’s Big Lie propaganda against Hillary To Susan Sarandon and like sore loser types Hillary’s worse crime was beating Bernie by more than three million popular votes (not thanks to super delegates). How dare she not step aside for Bernie! It’s unforgivable. These uncompromising, all-or-nothing types are the Democrats exact equivalent to the GOP, pledge-signing Tea Party types.
    I’m reminded of how Ralph Nadir and the idiots who followed him in 2001 gave the election to Bush, how they still deny it and how they still insist, like Bernie’s hard core today, that “there wasn’t a dime’s worth of difference between Gore and Bush so it would have mattered who won. All Gore would have made a huge difference on global warming, on the Supreme Court composition and decisions, on Citizens United, on the deficit and on the redistribution of wealth to the top two percent. Prior to Bush’s tax cuts the latter owned about seven percent of national wealth. Now its 20 percent which Trump, who apparently doesn’t pay taxes, prefers to increase further.

  5. Update:
    #International: This is ominous and highly suggestive that either the Russian or Assad regime has a hand on the Daeesh massacres in Istanbul – ‘Flight ticket Damascus-Kamishli found on one Daesh suspect by Turkish authorities’.
    #Idlib: People have been wondering who has been carrying out the spate of assassination attempts on rebel leaders and the levels of precision they were targeted leading some to think that it was the Syrian intelligence services but have they considered the possibility that it maybe the Daeesh fifth column that is JaA? “Three men said to be from pro-ISIS Jund al Aqsa attacked the Jaish al Islam office in Idlib. Two of the attackers were wounded….All three attackers fled after fighters in #Harabnush joined the defense of Jaish al Islam’s office.” – CombatChris1
    #Afrin: This fact highlights to me why Afrin should be considered for an invasion by the rebels “Military aid promised by the Regime to #YPG’s Mahmoud Rash in Afrin June 16 arrived by helicopter in Sheikh Maksoud.” – CombatChris1
    There should be an ambush ready for that convoy (it will be big) between when it leaves Afrin and enters Aleppo.
    #Aleppo: If the following is true then either the regime is desperate that YPG is about to collapse in Sheikh Maqsoud or they/regime is planning something big with YPG in Sheikh Maqsoud “Regime helicopters delivered 7 tons of small arms and ammunition plus 1 ton of medical needs for the #YPG in #Sheikh_Maksoud.” – CombatChris1
    Either way the rebels needs to escalate and finish them off because once that rat’s nest is cleared those fighters can be used to hit YPG elsewhere in Aleppo city.

    • ya! better later than never! it was a bad move to accept Assad forces in Nabel,Zahra, Foua,Kafraya and the Ypg in Sheik Massoud. The best move was to take the places or to push for limited loyalist or Kurds corps in those places(for the so said protection of people against religious lunatics …to say so)

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