Report

Syrian Army Makes Major Gains Against the Islamic State Amid Setbacks in Aleppo

Thirty-four Syrians were killed, including 12 children, and more than 190 were injured during an attack of over 300 shells that bombarded government held neighborhoods in Aleppo on Monday. The Syrian rebels have been battling the Assad regime for control of Aleppo since 2012. The event on Monday marks one of the largest attacks on ...

Aleppo Barrel Bomb

Thirty-four Syrians were killed, including 12 children, and more than 190 were injured during an attack of over 300 shells that bombarded government held neighborhoods in Aleppo on Monday. The Syrian rebels have been battling the Assad regime for control of Aleppo since 2012. The event on Monday marks one of the largest attacks on civilians by the Syrian rebel forces according to the British-based Observatory for Human Rights, which stated, “this indiscriminate attack on civilians in the city of Aleppo took place at the very time when [the Observatory for Human Rights] was in Damascus raising with the government the issue of the protection of civilians and the urgent need to stop the use of barrel bombs.”

In the south, the Syrian Army made major territorial gains against the Islamic State in the Qalamoun Mountains on the eastern borders of Lebanon on Tuesday. The offensive, in collaboration with Hezbollah, secured the areas of Tallet Ras Al-Kosh and Qornat Ras Al-Shabah on the outskirts of government held Jarajeer, leaving many Islamic State militants wounded or dead.

Al Qaeda’s Second in Command Killed in U.S.-led Airstrike

 Two Yemeni officials have officially confirmed the death of Nasir al-Wuhayshi in a U.S.-led airstrike conducted on Friday. On Tuesday, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula released a video verifying the death of their leader and two aides, while also announcing al-Wuhayshi’s successor, the group’s military chief, Qasm al-Rimi. CNN analyst, Paul Cruickshank said that al-Wuhayshi’s death is “the biggest blow against al Qaeda since the death of bin Laden.”

Headlines

-Lebanon missed the deadline, set for June 15th, to respond to a proposal to join a joint Arab Force against the Islamic State.

 

-Egyptian Court upholds a total of 17 life sentences for former President Mohamad Morsi and other top Muslim Brotherhood officials.

 

Yemeni rebels refused to talk to members of the exiled government attending peace talks in Geneva on Tuesday.

 

-Bahrain sentence lead Shiite cleric to four years in prison on Tuesday for recent charges of inciting unrest and disturbing public peace.

 

Morocco magazine pulls its newest edition from shelves due to “strong reactions” from the public surrounding the subject of homosexuality.

 

Arguments and Analysis

“Contextualizing Israeli Concerns about the Iran Nuclear Deal” (Michael Herzog, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy)

“Extensive discussions with Israeli and U.S. officials reveal the core elements of the U.S.-Israel disagreement to be differing threat perceptions, divergent worldviews and regional assessments, as well as a deep deficit of trust. Indeed, the roots of Israeli unease can be found as much in the context surrounding the deal as in its specific terms.”

 

“The Limits of Islamic State Expansion” (Faysal Itani, Markaz, The Brookings Institute)

The key obstacles to the Islamic State’s expansionary ambitions are not the U.S. air campaign or its efforts to train and equip Iraqi or Syrian allies; rather, the local demographic, geographic, and military realities of Iraq and Syria stand in the group’s way, placing natural limits on how much it is likely to expand.”

 

-Kyra Murphy

Image Credit (KARAM AL-MASRI/AFP/Getty Images)

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