MENA Region Daily Brief
Syria: Fierce battles kill scores between regime troops, JaN fighters in Latakia province
At least 50 Syrian regime soldiers and rebels were killed during intense battles in Bashar al-Assad’s home province of Latakia, with the fiercest clashes taking place in rebel-controlled Jabal al-Akrad district, through overnight hours local time into the afternoon on 12 March. Meanwhile sources indicated that in Homs province, at least five Syrian soldiers were killed when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives-laden vehicle at a military checkpoint.
Iraq: Australian national reportedly carries out suicide car bombing in Ramadi
Islamic State-affiliated networks indicated that 18-year-old Australian national Jake Bilardi AKA Abu Abdullah al-Australi detonated his explosives-laden body in a suicide attack, targeting the Eighth Brigade in Ramadi. Initial assessments indicate that the intelligence regarding the attack is credible but sources indicated that the Australian government has yet to comment on the validity of the report.
Turkey: Security forces detain over a dozen Indonesian nationals en-route to Syria
Turkish security forces detained at least 16 Indonesian nationals – who were reportedly en-route to live under Islamic State-controlled areas of Syria – in southeastern Turkey’s Gaziantep province, located approximately 45 Km (27 miles) north of Syrian territory. The latest arrests underscore Turkish officials efforts to crack down on the flow of foreign fighters that have consistently used southeastern Turkey as a path to enter Syria where they then fight alongside radical elements and/or live under the Islamic State’s rule.
Islamic State fighter near the Japanese Bridge, just North of Ramadi
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