MESOP Syria Daily: Rebels Turn Back Attacks Near Aleppo; Israel Kills Top Hezbollah Commander

By Scott Lucas – eaworldview – 13 May 2016

Syria Daily: Rebels Turn Back Attacks Near Aleppo; Israel Kills Top Hezbollah Commander
PHOTO: Hezbollah’s commander in Syria, Mustafa Badreddine, killed by Israeli strike on Thursday

FRIDAY FEATURE 2 Killed, 5 Wounded as Assad Regime Blocks 1st Aid to Darayya Since 2012

Syria’s rebels turned back pro-Assad attacks both north and south of Aleppo city on Thursday, while advancing in a sudden offensive in northern Homs Province.

South of Aleppo, Iranian-led forces tried once again to retake Khan Tuman, the town near the Aleppo-to-Damascus highway captured last week by rebels and the jihadists of Jabhat al-Nusra. Rebel outlets said that they inflicted heavy casualties in the latest setback to Tehran.

Earlier this week, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards admitted multiple casualties in Syria’s conflict for the first time — 13 troops killed, 21 wounded, and more captured — when rebels took Khan Tuman. A large but unknown number of Iranian-led foreign militia have also died.

North of Aleppo, the pro-Assad forces failed to take territory near Handarat, threatening a vital supply route to opposition-held areas of the city. Rebels again asserted that dozens of attackers were killed.

Pro-Assad fighters from the Palestinian-Syrian group Liwa al-Quds retreating:

Meanwhile, rebels and the jihadists of Jund al-Aqsa and Jabhat al-Nusra captured the village of al-Zara in northern Homs Province, hours after announcing an offensive to counter the attempt by the Assad regime and its allies to regain Khan Tuman.

Unconfirmed claims are circulating that a number of civilians in al-Zara have been abducted or killed. They assert that most of the village’s residents are Alawite, the same group to which President Assad and many of the regime’s elite belong.

So far, the only “proof” is one claimed image and rumors circulated as “fact” by the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

However, a BBC correspondent cites a “usually reliable source” that the town’s mayor and his relatives were killed and other civilians have been seized.

Pro-opposition accounts say the village is not largely Alawite, but had many Sunni and Turkmen residents before almost all of the population fled amid fighting.

Footage of rebels in the village, with images of slain regime fighters:

The local council of besieged Darayya, southwest of Damascus, has said that a father and son were killed and five other people wounded as they waited for an aid convoy which was blocked by the Syrian military.

The five-truck convoy was to be the first delivery of assistance to Darayya since it was blockaded by Assad forces in November 2012. Carrying baby milk and medical and school supplies, it was arranged after very lengthy and difficult negotiations” with the regime, according to the Red Cross.