Originally posted on Levant Report:
Not an “expert” or “analyst”: Me (left) with my buddy Eugene on one of many visits to Maaloula. Would you be surprised to learn the…
Military sources in the Northwestern battlefield of the country underlined the Syrian Army and its allies’ full preparedness and their plan for carrying out a large-scale operation in the Southern part of Idlib province in near future.
The Syrian army and their allies, who imposed full control over the village of Ein al-Beidha at the border of Lattakia province and Idlib, have deployed their forces only 15 km from the strategic city of Jisr al-Shughour’s southwestern side.
In the meantime, Jabal al-Akrad (Kurds Mountain) has been flooded with soldiers from the Syrian army, testifying the government forces’ firm will to push towards North in Idlib territories.
These soldiers are preparing for what is likely to become the Syrian army’s epic return to Jisr al-Shughour after losing the city just 9 months ago.
On Monday morning, the Syrian Arab Army’s 103rd Brigade – in close coordination with the National Defense Forces (NDF), the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP), the Syrian Marines, and Liwaa Suqour Al-Sahra (Desert Hawks Brigade) – advanced further north in Jabal Al-Turkmen, seizing a number of small heights that overlook the Turkish city of Yayladagi in the Hatay Province.
In addition to their advance in Jabal Al-Turkmen, the Syrian Armed Forces continued their powerful assault along the Aleppo-Latakia Highway, pushing their way towards the strategic city of Jisr Al-Shughour in the Idlib Governorate.
Over the next few days, the Syrian Armed Forces are expected to intensify their ground assault in the Latakia Governorate’s northern countryside, as they attempt seize the remaining points along both the Idlib and Turkish borders.
In a brazen advance, the People’s Protection Units or YPG not only dealt a major blow to Western- and Turkey-backed rebels that were safeguarding a supply route from Aleppo to Turkey, but pressed their own stated goal in the war: To unite separated Kurdish enclaves in northern Syria into a single unit, the nucleus of what its parent organization in Turkey, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, views as a future Kurdish state to be carved out of Syria and Turkey.
Ankara swiftly demanded the YPG abandon the territory it had claimed and began shelling the militia across the international border.
The U.S. State Department’s evenhanded response — admonishing both Turkey and the YPG and calling on both to back off — infuriated Ankara. “The only thing we expect from our U.S. ally is to support Turkey, with no ‘ifs’ or ‘buts,’” snapped Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu on February 20.
Originally posted on PROPOSITION 1:
Amidst a stunning admission that the Syrian anti-Government forces are not familiar with the ceasefire resolution procedures, or what targets have been jointly discussed between the…