ISIS driven from Aleppo and encircled by Syrian Arab Army

Militant fighters of the Islamic State group (ISIS) have withdrawn from Aleppo province amidst advance by Syrian government’s army forces, local sources reported on Friday.

The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) – led by the elite Tiger Forces – has expanded its zone of control over the entire Ethiryah-Rusafa highway and de facto besieged any ISIS forces that may have not yet retreated from the region of Khanasser.

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Syrian Kurds send military reinforcements to Aleppo | ARANEWS

The Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and allied factions of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have brought military reinforcements to the northern countryside of Aleppo province to impede the Turkish progress towards Afrin district, military sources reported on Wednesday.

“The YPG and SDF today deployed more forces and armoured vehicles in northern Aleppo,” a YPG officer told ARA News.

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Afrin – On the brink of an invasion | Colonel Cassad

In the evening, reports appeared (mostly on pro-Turkish resources) that Russia allegedly relinquished military police forces from Afrin in those areas where the invasion of the Turkish army and the militants controlled by it can be started, and in the canton there are supposedly only 14 personnel.

According to other sources, including and in Afrin, the Russian contingent is still in Kafr Jana. No Official confirmations or denials of this yet. Over Afrin a Russian spy plane has been seen.

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Turkey launches offensive against the YPG in Syria

What lies ahead? For some time, Turkey has been moving troops and weapons to Kilis, which is located just north of Azaz-Mare – which is east of the YPG-controlled area of Afrin. Meanwhile, Idlib, where Turks and Russians are planning to enforce the de-conflicting zone, is south of Afrin. In other words, Turkey will have to prevent YPG attacks against Azaz-Mare and protect its troops stationed in Idlib by pacifying the YPG elements in Afrin. It remains to be seen whether the military build-up in Kilis is limited to the de-conflicting zone in Idlib or part of a broader plan involving Afrin.

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A raid on the Khanasser-Aleppo road | Colonel Cassad

Yesterday, the Caliphate launched a traditional raid on the Khanasser-Aleppo road. Mobile groups of fighters moving to the North from Itria were able to take a few half-backs and roadblocks, plunder some booty and short to reach the outskirts of the road. Traditionally, the militants were able to achieve tactical surprise. However, due to the insignificance of the forces that were involved in the RAID, unlike previous invasions, which created operational difficulties for Aleppo group of the SAA, the activity of the Caliphate is purely tactical in nature and does not change the overall bleak trend for them in the strategic situation East of Aleppo.

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Briefly on the Middle East | Colonel Cassad

In Northern Hama the front has stabilized. The militants went after the failures of mid-April, fell back to the area of Lataminah and Morek, which is reflected in the rate of advance of the SAA, which is now bogged down in battles for the towns South of Lataminah and South-East of Morek. If in these fights, SAA will be able to grind the main forces of the militants, before the Syrians will open good prospects associated with access to the Central regions of Idlib.

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The battle in Northern Hama. 24.04.2017 | Colonel Cassad

“Al-Nusra” and “Ahrar al-sham” have actually burned their operating reserves in the April fighting and can only rely on fresh recruits from camps in Idlib, as well as a separate jihadist group from other groups. The main problem of fighters is that after the SAA broke through the main defensive line Halfaya-Tablet-al-Imam-Souran, the second line of defense near Lataminah and Morek, in fact is the key to the southern part of Idlib. In the continuation of the offensive of the SAA at the current pace, the consequences of the collapse of the defense of fighters in North Hama can capture and the neighboring parts of the front, particularly in the area Kerdasa and Maan that the favorable SAA for the development of the situation can lead to total collapse of the southern front rebels.

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