Syrian government forces open new front against Turkish proxies in Western Aleppo
… from Southfront
[ Editor’s Note: We had been expecting the Syrians to continue a slow westward push out of Aleppo to get the jihadis out of ATG anti-armor and rocket range. That tactic has usually been slow going as the jihadis are fighting from heavily defended positions they have had years to prepare with lots of underground tunneling, very tough street fighting.
So today we see this new northern push from SW Aleppo into the countryside area, while SAA forces joined by YPG Kurds, who certainly have no love for Erdogan and is proxy terrorist allies, to push down through the south Afrin region attacking that jihadi flank.
This morning the SAA forces further down the M-5 highway were consolidating their western front lines, attacking weak points to edge closer to Atarib in the NW where the Turks have a major base now.
The Syrian repairs crews are working feverishly to clear the M-5 from all the blockades and combat debris as it needs to be fully functional to support large scale fighting which uses huge amount of ammunition.
You can see from the maps that the SAA is rolling up the main roads to deny their mobility to the Turkish and Syrian jihadis. In a bigger fight with Turkish forces the SAA will have the advantage of air cover.
The road out of Aleppo SW to Atarib is Hwy 60, and the one above it is 64. With those in Syrian hands they will be force multipliers to a full out battle with division size forces.
We still can’t see what Turkey plans to do with all that armor as when you start fighting with it you need constant resupplies which is hard to do when being bombed and shelled. The last job I would want is being a fuel tanker driver making runs back and forth to Turkey.
But as Gordon pointed out in our morning battlefield sitrep, that Turkey’s getting a lot of armor units into Idlib is one thing, but if a big fight blows up there, getting them out when it has no air cover is another matter. The Syrians might be able to make up their losses from what the Turkish army will leave behind … Jim W. Dean ]
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– First published … February 15, 2020 –
On February 15, Syrian government forces opened a new front against Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) and other Turkish-backed militant groups in western Aleppo.
Additionally to advances in the areas of Urma al-Kubra and Kafr Naha, units of the Syrian Army (allegedly supported by the Kurdish YPG) attacked positions of Turkish-backed radicals near Sheik Aqil Hill and Kafr Basin.
According to pro-government sources, army troops supported by the Russian and Syrian air power are aiming to encircle and clear militants remaining in the western Aleppo countryside.
For this purpose, they will need to take control of Kafr Basin, Babis and Qabtan al-Jabal. After this, the defense of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and their al-Qaeda-linked comrades will collapse. Supplies of MANPADs from Turkey are apparently not enough to change the situation strategically.