Syria Situation Report: May 21 - 27, 2016
ISIS conducted an unprecedented series of complex suicide attacks in regime-held Tartus City and Jableh on the Syrian Coast on 23 MAY, killing at least 150 civilians and wounding over 200 others. ISIS issued a statement claiming the attacks under the name of the newly-reestablished Wilayat al-Sahel. ISIS will likely escalate its attacks against Alawites on the Syrian Coast in order to exacerbate the sectarian nature of the Syrian Civil War during the upcoming holy month of Ramadan. Meanwhile, ISIS seized at least six villages from opposition forces in Northern Aleppo Province, besieging the key town of Mare'a and advancing into the outskirts of Azaz on the Syrian-Turkish Border. These gains mark a major setback for efforts by the U.S. and Turkey to bolster opposition groups along the Mare'a Line and deny ISIS access to the Syrian-Turkish Border.