Via the Washington Post:
A U.S.-backed coalition of rebels in Syria — including Syrian Kurdish, Arab and Christian groups — captured several areas in the country’s north from the Islamic State extremists as government air raids on a rebel-held Damascus suburb killed at least 20 people on Thursday.
Government warplanes and helicopter gunships struck the suburb of Hamouriyeh, which over the past weeks has been subjected to intense government airstrikes like other opposition-held areas near the Syrian capital.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said there were women and children among the casualties. The Local Coordination Committees, another activist group that tracks the Syrian conflict, said 23 were killed and dozens were wounded. Different death tolls are common in the chaos of Syria’s civil war.
It is nice to hear some news of success from the hottest mess region in a hot mess world.
The press does a disservice to everyone fighting when it constantly reports civilian casualties. It none-too-subtly reinforces the infantile liberal notion that a war can somehow be conducted without any nice people getting killed, an idea that’s even more ridiculous when fighting an enemy that has a history of using women and children as human shields.
This isn’t just a territorial skirmish with no end game, they’re attempting to cut off supply lines:
The SDF offensive started Wednesday with a push south of the Turkey-Syria border town of Kobani, according to a rebel spokesman, Col. Talal Sillu. On Thursday, coalition fighters advanced eight kilometers (five miles), inching closer to their objective — the Tishrin Dam on the Euphrates River that supplies much of northern Syria with electricity.
“The situation on the ground is excellent,” said Sillu. The rebels are also trying to cut the supply lines between the Islamic State’s de-facto capital of Raqqa and the group’s stronghold of Manbij. Several villages, farms and weapons were taken in battles with IS, the spokesman said, adding that at least 14 IS fighters have been killed since Wednesday.
With any luck, the U.S. can limit its role to mostly airstrikes if the coalition continues to have success. If not, it’ll be an interesting election year.