The month of February has been disastrous for the extremist rebels of Jabhat Al-Nusra (Syrian Al-Qaeda group), Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham, Jabhat Al-Shamiyah, Harakat Nouriddeen Al-Zinki, and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) in the Aleppo Governorate’s northern countryside, thanks in large part to the wide-scale offensive launched by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and their allies.
Further adding to their plight in northern Aleppo, the predominately Kurdish “People’s Protection Units” (YPG) and the U.S.-backed “Syrian Democratic Forces” (SDF) are steadily advancing towards the Turkish border, capturing strategic sites like the Mennagh Military Airport and the village of Tal Rifa’at.
While the extremist rebels battle the more moderate rebels near the Turkish border, the Syrian Arab Army’s 154th Brigade of the 4th Mechanized Division – backed by Hezbollah, the National Defense Forces (NDF), and several Iraqi paramilitary units – have shifted their attention to the opposition strongholds of Haritan, Hayyan, and ‘Anadan in the northern Aleppo countryside.
However, the primary focus for the Syrian Armed Forces and their allies is the strategic city of ‘Anadan, which is situated along the Aleppo-Gaziantep Highway and the gateway to the remaining pockets of resistance controlled by the extremist rebels in northwestern Aleppo.
Since declaring Bayyanoun under fire control last week, the Syrian Armed Forces and their allies have pressed south towards the city of ‘Anadan in what is likely to become the next next major battle between the government and opposition forces in the northern Aleppo countryside.
Currently, the government forces are positioned a few kilometers north of ‘Anadan; however, they are approaching the city from three different flanks, which will prove to be incredibly important as the battle nears.