Syria army has successfully carved out a corridor between its main territory held in Aleppo and a tiny Shia enclave adjecent to a larger Kurdish enclave on Turkish border. If Damascus can hold onto this stretch of land then one of two Turkey supply routes will have been severed which may spell a turning point in the battle for Aleppo – Syria’s largest city

Thu, Feb 4, 2016

Originally appeared at Moon of Alabama

Good news from Syria. The battlefield ‘negotiations’ over the insurgency’s supply route to the north were successfully concluded.

After nearly four years the siege on Nubl and Zahraa has been lifted. The northern supply route from insurgency held areas in Aleppo province and Aleppo city to Turkey has been severed.

Update (12:45 am): A Syrian author in Aleppo just tweeted:

Edward Dark @edwardedark
This is the beginning of the end of jihadi presence in Aleppo. After 4 years of war & terror, people can finally see the end in sight #Syria

End-update

HD version – different map showing a larger area

While fire control over the supply route was achieved yesterday there were still Jabhat al-Nusra forces holding the village Muarrasat al Khan. Those forces were destroyed today with a two pronged attack by the Syrian army coming from east and Hizbullah fighters coming from the besieged Nubl and Zahraa area in the west. Those fighters had earlier arrived by helicopter. At least four higher commander of Nusra and other groups where killed during the fighting. They Syrian army will now continue the offensive to widen and secure the new corridor.

There is now only one supply line left between the insurgents in Idleb and Aleppo province and Turkey. It leads north-west from Idleb city along the M45 motorway and crosses at Bab al Hawa to the Turkish city of Reyhanli (map.) It is some 40 kilometers west of Aleppo city and Russian air superiority make the road dangerous to use. The Russian air force will take care that no major traffic is able to use the crossing. Over the next months the current offensive should also have reached that border zone and seal all other potential crossing venues.

Russia made clear that there will be no end to the war until the border is under full Syrian government control:

“The key point for the ceasefire to work is a task of blocking illegal trafficking across the Turkish-Syrian border, which supports the militants,” [Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov] said. “Without closing the border it is difficult to expect the ceasefire to take place.”

The Russian air strikes will continue until the terrorist organizations are defeated.

Additional progress was made by the Syrian army today in Latakia. East of Aleppo the army took the village  As Sin and has nearly surrounded a contingent of Islamic State fighters at the Aleppo power plant. In Homs province the already surrounded large insurgency held area of Rastan will soon be split in two. In the south new attacks were launched to widen the supply corridor to Daraa.

The moral of the Syrian army has remarkably increased and victory begets victory. I expect the campaign to continue at the current pace. The insurgency in north, south and west Syria is faltering on all fronts and their lack of new supplies will soon lead to more decisive defeats. After the insurgency is mostly destroyed it will be time to take serious care of the Islamic State in Deir Ezzor and Raqqa in east Syria. In preparation of that move the Syrian YPG Kurds, with Russian support, are planning to take the rest of the northern border with Turkey from the Islamic State.

Russia Insider’s version