Syrian rebels’ northern enclave faces possible destruction

After breaking the siege of Nubl and Zahraa, Syrian regime forces launched attack northward. By 8 February they were engaged in fighting for Kafr Naya, just 5 kilometers south of the rebel-held town of Tall Rifat.

Meanwhile, Syrian Kurds from the Afrin enclave use the situation to expand their territory by taking areas from the rebels before regime’s forces capture them. After taking a number of villages in recent days, on 8 February they took the town of Deir Jamal.

As a result of the regime and Kurdish advance, the northern enclave of the rebels near the Turkish border, with the towns of Azaz, Tall Rifat and Morea among others, has been cut from the rest of the rebel-held territory and faces serious threat of annihilation.

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Assad’s forces take Ratyan and Mayer

In addition to taking Ataman in southern Syria, on 5 February 2016 the Assad regime forces also took the towns of Ratyan and Mayer in Aleppo Province.

As a result, they widened the corridor they had gained days ago to villages Nubl and Zahraa , and strengthened their position to proceed to encircle Aleppo city.

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Assad’s forces lift the siege of Nubl and Zahraa

On 3 February 2016 Syrian regime forces broke through the rebels’ siege lines surrounding the regime-aligned Shia villages of Nubl and Zahraa. The two villages had been under siege for about 3 years.

The Assad forces’ success has also cut one of the rebels’ supply routes to the part of Aleppo city under the rebel control. The rebel forces in Aleppo city are still not surrounded, but their situation has just become considerably more difficult.

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Assad’s forces gain new territory north of Aleppo

On 1 February 2016 Syrian government captured village Hardatnin from the rebels. The village is located about 10 kilometers north of Aleppo.

Apparently, Syrian regime forces are trying to break the siege of Shia villages Nubl and Zahraa. With the capture of Hardatnin, regime forces have come within 5 kilometers of the siege lines at Zahraa.

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Assad forces gain new territory south of Aleppo

Syrian government forces continue gaining ground south of Aleppo. On 20 December 2015 they took over area about 5-7 kilometers south-west from Aleppo city from the rebels. The area includes towns of Qarasi and Khan Tuman.

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Assad forces take Al Hader and Tel Hadya in Aleppo Province

During 12-13 November 2015 Syrian government forces achieved their largest success after the launch of their northern offensive against the rebel forces. They have taken over considerable territory with the town Al Hader and village Tel Hadya south-west of Aleppo city.

This advance by the Assad forces could potentially represent serious threat to the rebels’ position in Aleppo and Idlib region.

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Assad’s forces score successes in Aleppo Province

Syrian government forces have achieved several successes in the Aleppo region.

On 10 November 2015 they pierced the Islamic State blockade of Kwaires air base, gaining a corridor to this besieged location.

Besides, during the last several days Assad forces have taken over a number of areas south of Aleppo city and west of Al-Safirah from the Syrian rebels. As a result, they have considerably widened their foothold in Aleppo Province.

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Assad forces retake the road to Aleppo from Islamic State

On 4 November 2015 Syrian government forces retook the road between the towns of Ithriya and Khaneser from IS. The jihadists had captured a portion of the road on 23 October 2015. The road is the only route through which Assad forces and their allies can communicate with the regime-controlled territory in Aleppo. Thus, long-term loss of the road could have catastrophic consequences for the Assad regime.

As to the general situation in Syria, Assad’s offensive against the rebels in the north has been largely unsuccessful, while Islamic State is trying to exploit the situation by taking territory from both rebels and Assad.

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Regularly updated interactive map of war in Syria & Iraq. Press View Larger Map for better view:

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The permanent page of this interactive map is here: 

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