A Syrian army soldier fires artillery shells towards Islamic State group jihadists in northeastern Palmyra on May 17, 2015
A Syrian army soldier fires artillery shells towards Islamic State group jihadists in northeastern Palmyra on May 17, 2015 © - AFP/File
A Syrian army soldier fires artillery shells towards Islamic State group jihadists in northeastern Palmyra on May 17, 2015
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AFP
Last updated: June 10, 2015

Setbacks suffered by the Syrian regime

The Syrian government has suffered another in a series of battlefield losses against the Islamic State (IS) and other rebel groups.

The Syrian rebellion erupted in March 2011 after the repression of peaceful pro-reform protests prompted an armed uprising against President Bashar al-Assad's regime, and has since become many-sided.

- REBELS ADVANCE IN DARAA -

On March 25, rebels chase pro-regime militias from Shiite Muslim sectors of Bosra al-Sham in Daraa province, where the revolt against Assad began.

Rebels now control all of the ancient southern city.

And on April 1, opposition fighters seize Daraa's Nasib crossing, the last regime-held border point on Syria's frontier with Jordan.

- IS JIHADISTS PENETRATE DAMASCUS -

On April 1, IS jihadists launch an offensive against the Yarmuk Palestinian refugee camp in southern Damascus. They are aided by militants from the Al-Nusra Front, a Syrian branch of Al-Qaeda.

It marks the first time that IS manages to penetrate the capital, though it already controls large swathes of territory in northern Syria. After initially capturing 60 percent of Yarmuk, IS fighters are still in control of 40 percent.

- FALL OF IDLIB AND JISR AL-SHUGHUR -

On March 28, Al-Nusra Front and allies, known as the Army of Conquest, capture the northwestern city of Idlib. On April 25, the government loses another city, Jisr al-Shughur, in Idlib province to the coalition. The city lies close to Turkey, which has helped rebel groups, and is also close to the regime's bastion Latakia province.

In late May, the Syrian regime abandons most of Idlib province after Al-Qaeda and its allies take the city of Ariha without a fight. Idlib is the second Syrian province to fall, after IS captured Raqa in the north.

- IS CAPTURES PALMYRA -

On May 21, IS fighters capture Palmyra. With that victory, IS controls "more than 95,000 square kilometres (37,000 square miles) in Syria, or half the country," the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights notes.

The same day, IS fighters capture the border crossing point in Al-Tanaf, the last point controlled by government forces on the border with Iraq. It also means that the Assad regime's only practical control over land borders is its frontier with Lebanon.

- REBELS ADVANCE TOWARDS REGIME FIEFS -

On June 6, the Army of Conquest seizes a dozen villages and the town of Muhambel, a major army position in northwest Syria. The sites lie close to the central province of Hama and coastal Latakia, two of the regime's remaining strongholds.

- A KEY SOUTHERN BASE FALLS -

On June 9, the Southern Front alliance of rebel forces seizes the 52nd Brigade base in the southern Syrian province of Daraa, which is now dominated by the rebels.

The base gives rebels access to Sweida province, one of the few that is still largely controlled by the regime.

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