PHOTO A Syrian Democratic Forces fighter escorting residents returning to the city of Manbij



Watching My Beloved Aleppo Being Torn Apart

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BREAKING, 1730 GMT: In a sudden attack, rebels have made a major advance on the southwestern Aleppo front, taking most of the cement factory near the southern ring road.

Local sources confirm the claims of rebels and activists on social media, saying that positions were seized within an hour. Some reports said the complex has been completely overrun, but rebel factions said on Sunday night that fighting is ongoing.

Rebels surrounded the factory, a garrison for pro-Assad forces, when they broke through regime line almost two weeks ago and ended a month-long siege of Aleppo city. The factory is east of the town of Ramouseh and the artillery base and air force college captured by the rebel bloc Jaish al-Fatah.

The cement factory is in the dark green area at the bottom of this map:

Rebels have also detonated a large vehicle bomb in al-Zahra in western Aleppo city, where there has been ongoing fighting for months:

A pro-Assad activist is carrying purported messages from regime soldiers and a pro-regime journalist which claim that the attack on the cement factory was repelled, killing more than 30 “terrorists”, and that the bomb in Zahra had no significant effect: “We destroyed the two vehicles before they can reach us and now the situation is perfect.”

ORIGINAL ENTRY: The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces have hailed the capture of Manbij from the Islamic State, as citizens returned to the city in northern Syria on Saturday.

The SDF, supported by US airstrikes, took control of the remaining parts of the city on Friday, following an agreement in which the last ISIS fighters withdrew towards Jarablus on the Turkish border. SDF advisor Nasser Haj Mansour said searches were underway for any remaining Islamic State members.

Some reports said the ISIS fighters were accompanied by relatives, incorrectly reported on Friday to be “human shields” for the retreat.

Meanwhile, video showed happy residents returning to Manbij, which had been ISIS’s main position in Aleppo Province since January 2014. Men cut their beards and women burned burkas in signs of liberation from the Islamic State’s rule.

One man told Al Jazeera:

We are all happy. We cleared the city from Daesh and now people are returning to their homes. We will show the world that the tide is changing and we will take back all of our country from Daesh.

“Thousands are coming back and shops are opening. Today is the first day life is returning to normal,” said Sharfan Darwish, a spokesman for the SDF-allied Manbij Military Council.

MANBIJ 13-08-16

Reports: Dozens Killed in Car Bomb and Russian-Regime Bombing Near Turkish Border

Activists report that Russian-regime bombing has struck a displaced persons’ camp near the town of Atmeh and the nearby border crossing with Turkey.

Videos posted on social media show tents burning in the camp as men rush to help victims.

Meanwhile, a car bomb reportedly inflicted more casualties.

Video: Doctor in Northern Syria “80% of Casualties Are Women and Children”

Dr Shajul Islam explains to On the Ground News about the need for medical staff and the Russian-regime airstrikes on civilians:

Jaish al-Islam Launches Counter-Attacks on Syrian Military Near Damascus

The rebel faction Jaish al-Islam has launched a series of hit-and-run counter-attacks behind the Syrian military’s lines in the eastern Qalamoun region near Damascus and the main highway to the Iraqi capital Baghdad.

Clashes are reported near the village of Abu al-Shamat (see map).

Jaish al-Islam is claiming the capture of some positions, taking weapons and heavy artillery and killed at least 40 regime troops.

The faction is trying to counter a regime advance since the spring in its East Ghouta heartland near the capital. The Syrian military and its allies have taken much of the southern part of East Ghouta.

Jaish al-Islam is trying to hold the frontlines, with current fighting in the al-Marj area and near the town of Hawsh al-Fara.

83 Killed on Saturday as Russian-Regime Bombing Continues in Northwest

The Local Coordination Committees documented 83 deaths across Syria on Saturday, as Russian and regime warplanes continued their intense bombing of the northwest.

In Aleppo Province, 45 people were killed, most from airstrikes on the Fardos and Sukkari districts of Aleppo city and the town of Jina. Another 17 died in Idlib Province amid pro-Assad bombing of Idlib city.

Activists also reported bombardment of areas in northern Homs Province, with at least eight people slain in Talbiseh and Farhania.

Footage of a Russian-made Tochka-U ballistic missile fired on Saraqeb in Idlib Province: