BREAKING: Rebel groups capture key town from Syrian Army after intense assault (maps)

In the morning hours of May 22, rebel forces led by jihadist group Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham, fighting alongside Islamist Ahrar al-Sham and moderate Jaish al-Izza, launched a fierce attack against the Syrian Army at the town of Kafr Nabudah, one of the main towns captured by the Syrian Army during its operation earlier in May. A prolonged rebel heavy infantry assault lasting 6 hours finally succeeded in forcing the Syrian Army’s elite Tiger Forces out of the town.

Rebel forces of the Free Syrian Army and National Liberation Front used truck-mounted rockets as well as Kornet anti-tank missiles and 4 Panthera F9 armored troop carriers recently supplied by Turkey. The jihadist group Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham started off with a suicide car bomb (killing 5 government troops) and used 7 tanks, GRAD rockets, ‘elephant’ rockets, Milkor grenade launchers, RPGs, motorbikes, and teams of gunmen. All in all, about 50 vehicles and 500 rebel fighters participated in the offensive, meaning it was well-coordinated and planned many days in advance.

Both sides killed several dozen of the other’s troops, with at least a hundred wounded. Rebels captured two tanks and destroyed one BMP. The Syrian Army is currently bombing and shelling the town and attempting to regroup and launch a counterattack.

The following are maps of the situation before and after, along with brand-new satellite imagery of the town just a few hours before the rebel assault began:

Satellite image of Kafr Nabudah town on 21 May, just hours before the final rebel assault. Craters and frontline positions are visible, including defensive trenches dug by the Syrian Army along the southeast perimeter of the town and circular outposts to the northeast. These locations were all overrun by rebels. Bombed-out buildings are also visible.

Middle-East Map of Control by Province

This is a map of territorial control by faction in the Middle East. Please note that resolution (and thus accuracy) is limited by the program used, and as such this map is not intended to give a completely precise view of the frontlines but rather a province-by-province breakdown of control. Countries and factions are mapped according to the exact color of their flags (with the exception of Turkey).

Continue reading