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Syrian Army captures key town from Islamic State (ISIS) in northern countryside of Aleppo province

The Syrian Army unleashed a wide-scale offensive in the northeastern countryside of Aleppo, after succeeding to wrest control over the city of Aleppo last December

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Rebel fighters walk near damaged buildings in al-Rai town, northern Aleppo countryside, Syria, Dec. 30, 2016
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Damascus, Feb 26, 2017: The Syrian Army captured a key town in the northern countryside of Aleppo province on Sunday, following battles with the Islamic State.

Capturing the town of Tadef enables the Syrian army to secure transportation routes in eastern Aleppo, and constitute a base for launching attacks and undermining the presence of the IS militants in that part of the province, the Syrian army said in a statement, according to state news agency SANA.

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The town is also located southeast of city al-Bab, which was recently captured by Turkish forces and allied rebel fighters.

The Syrian Army unleashed a wide-scale offensive in the northeastern countryside of Aleppo, after succeeding to wrest control over the city of Aleppo last December.

The offensive enabled the military forces to assume control of territory 600 km east of Aleppo.

Also, the army has laid a siege along the southern rim of al-Bab city, to secure the eastern part of Aleppo city from IS attacks, or the possible advance of the Turkish-backed rebels.

Observers believe that there was a Russian-Turkish understanding for splitting the battles in al-Bab.

For the Turks, capturing al-Bab cuts the way in the face of the growing Kurdish influence in northern Syria, a red line drawn by Turkey.

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For the Syrian army, laying a siege to al-Bab from its southern edge prevents the IS fighters to withdraw toward other stronghold in eastern province of Deir al-Zour, or northern city of al-Raqqa, the de facto capital of the terror-designated group.

The Syrian government has always looked to the Turkish moves in northern Syria as an encroachment upon the sovereignty of the country, claiming that Ankara was capturing areas in northern Syria to build a wall, which could be a prelude to setting Ankara’s long-demanded safe zones in northern Syria, near the Turkish borders. (IANS)

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The Son Of The Islamic State leader al-Baghdadi Dies: IS

Al-Baghdadi's fate is still unknown

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This image from video posted in July purports to show Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi delivering a sermon in Iraq, July 5, 2014. Islamic State media has announced the death of the leader's son.
This image from video posted in July purports to show Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi delivering a sermon in Iraq, July 5, 2014. Islamic State media has announced the death of the leader's son. VOA

The son of the Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has died in a suicide attack mission in the city of Homs in western Syria, according to the IS media al-Nashir News.

Posting the photograph of a young boy, purportedly Hudhayfah al-Badri, al-Baghdadi’s son, the outlet said he lost his life in an operation against the Russian forces deployed in Homs and the Syrian government forces, referred to as Nusayriyyah by IS.

“Hudhayfah al-Badri (may Allah accept him), the son of the Caliph (may Allah safeguard him), was killed in an inghimasi [suicide] operation against the Nusayriyyah and the Russians at the thermal power station in Homs Willayah,” the news outlet reported.

Inghimasi refers to suicide operations in which a fighter, clad with explosive belt and armed with regular weapons, attacks an enemy position before detonating himself to inflict as much damage on the enemy as possible.

The U.S. military said it has seen the reports of al-Badri’s death but declined any confirmation.

“It would be inappropriate for us to comment on an attack on forces outside the Coalition. We have nothing more to provide,” U.S. Central Command told VOA.

An Iraqi national, al-Baghdadi, whose real name is Ibrahim Awad al-Badri, announced the Islamic State caliphate in the city of Mosul in June 2014 and made himself its caliph. The leader has since become the world’s most wanted man, with a $25 million bounty on his head.

Islamic Terrorism in NYC
Bicycles and debris lay on a bike path after a motorist drove onto the path near the World Trade Center memorial, striking and killing several people, Oct. 31, 2017, in New York. VOA

Al-Baghdadi’s fate is still unknown, with various reports claiming his death and injury several times, including a claim by the Russian Defense Ministry that he might have been hit by a Russian airstrike in 2017.

Those claims have been rejected by U.S. officials and the whereabouts of the elusive leader remain unknown.

Al-Baghdadi’s infamous role in IS has put a spotlight on his family. In March 2014, al-Baghdadi’s wife, Sujidah al-Dulaimi, was released, along with her two sons and daughter, in exchange for 13 nuns taken captive by al-Qaida-linked al-Nusra Front militants.

Also read: Will the Latest Message From Islamic State Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi Provoke New Attacks in the West?

It was reported that only the girl was al-Baghdadi’s daughter. The two boys belonged to a man his wife had married before meeting al-Baghdadi. (IANS)