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Showing posts from January 26, 2016

Russian Air Force strikes ISIS around Deir ez-Zor as jihadists prepare to storm key Syrian city

The Syrian Army has regained control of large territories in Latakia province with support from the Russian Air Force, with terrorists now redeploying forces to eastern parts of the country, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Monday, citing Syrian opposition sources.

Supported by Russian war planes, Syrian government troops have been successful in defeating Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) militants in Latakia province. In the past 24 hours, more than 92 square kilometers (35 square miles) of territories were regained from terrorist groups. The Syrian Army has regained control over 28 towns, including the strategically important town of Rabia in Latakia.

Having lost their advantage in western parts of the country, IS command has now decided to concentrate its forces on trying to seize the city of Deir ez-Zor, the largest city in the eastern part of Syria, the Russian Defense Ministry said. Up to 2,000 heavily armed militants have been redeployed by IS to the region, the ministr…

Syrian army seizes key rebel-held town in Latakia

Syrian regime forces on Sunday overran the last major rebel-held town in the coastal province of Latakia, a stronghold of President Bashar al-Assad, state television and a monitoring group reported.

Citing a military source, state television said Syria's "armed forces, in coordination with the popular defence [militia], seized control of the town of Rabiya."

The northwestern town had been held by the opposition since 2012 and was controlled by a range of rebel groups including some made up of Syrian Turkmen, as well as the Al-Nusra Front, an al Qaeda affiliate.

According to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the conflict in Syria, Rabiya fell on Sunday after a steady regime advance that left the town surrounded.

"In the past 48 hours, regime forces surrounded the town from three sides – the south, west, and north – by capturing 20 villages," Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.

Abdel Rahman said senior Russian military offic…

Over 200,000 S. Sudanese sheltering from war inside U.N. bases

Over 200,000 South Sudanese civilians are sheltering inside U.N. camps from civil war, the United Nations said Monday, a bleak barometer of ongoing conflict despite peace efforts.

The figures, among the highest in over two years of civil war and similar to numbers recorded in August 2015 during some of the heaviest battles, come despite political efforts to implement a peace deal inked on paper six months ago.

More than 201,000 civilians are crammed inside squalid camps in six towns across the country, including the capital Juba, according to the U.N. peacekeeping mission (UNMISS).

Over 122,000 are in the camp in Bentiu alone, a former key oil town in the northern Unity region where fighting has been concentrated.

The continued rise in the number of people fleeing violence offers a clear indication that conditions continue to worsen in the poverty-stricken nation.

In October, U.N.-backed experts warned of a “concrete risk of famine” in parts of Unity if fighting continues, with tens of tho…