After establishing a corridor between Aleppo and a Shia and Kurdish enclaves in NW Syria – that also splits Islamist rebels in two and leaves them without one route to Turkey and ISIS oil – the Syrian army and the Kurdish YPG went on to expand it making it more likely they will be able to hold it
Moments ago, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) – heavily aided by Hezbollah fighters and the Russian airforce – finally imposed full control over Mayir and Kafr Naya near the newly liberated towns of Nubl and al-Zahraa after hours of ongoing combat wth Islamist rebels during the morning and afternoon. These newly captured towns have otherwise been rebel-held since early 2012.
Since launching their offensive a few days ago, government troops have captured the aforementioned villages, Duwayr az-Zaytun, Tall Jibbin, Hardatnin and partially the village of Rityan. While the SAA is busy expanding a buffer zone around the supply route that links Nubl and al-Zahraa with the government-held mainland of Aleppo City, local Islamist rebels have had their main Turkish supply line from Azaz to Aleppo city entirely severed.
According to an al-Masdar source, the battle for Mayir and Kafr Naya caused heavy casualities for Jabhat al-Nusra, Jaish al-Fateh and Jabhat al-Mujahideen as dozens of rebels fighters were killed during the loss of these towns. More than 500 Russian airstrikes have been carried out against Islamist militants in the region since the offensive was launched 4 days ago while tens of government soldiers and pro-government shi’ite fighters have been killed in combat.
Kurdish forces advance in northern Aleppo amidst rebel collapse
Over the past few hours, the Kurdish YPG have captured Khuraybah and Shatal az Ziyarah villages from various Islamist rebel factions including Jabhat al-Nusra (al-Qaeda in Syria). Furthermore, Kurdish troops have taken control of the mill directly south of Dayr al-Jamal while preliminary (unconfirmed) reports indicate that YPG has also stormed the southern district of Dayr al-Jamal town itself.
Earlier today, Syrian government troops captured Kafr Naya and Mayir from Islamist rebels amidst a large scale government offensive launched from Aleppo city towards the former enclave of Nubl and al-Zahraa. Both offensives have been heavily aided by hundreds of Russian airstrikes over the past few days that have forced Islamist rebels to retreat from village after village.
Not long ago, a YPG official announced that the Kurdish fighters of the YPG and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) intend to capture Azaz city from Islamist rebels as well as Jarablus city from ISIS militants as to connect Efrin in northwestern Syria with Kobane and Hasakah further east. If this plan succeeds, Kurdish forces will be in control of the vast majority of the Turkish-Syrian border while both ISIS and Islamist rebels with be left short of their former Turkish supply lines.
The significance of the corridor:
Before the offensive: