Earlier today, government troops – spearheaded by the elite Tiger Forces – stormed Najarah in eastern Aleppo and quickly expelled all ISIS fighters defending the village. Effectively, a major buffer zone has been created around the previously besieged Kuweiris Airbase while the Syrian Arab Army now finds itself less than 12 kilometers from the strategic city of al-Bab.
Meanwhile, Kurdish militias known as ‘People’s Protection Units’ (YPG) and a coalition of Free Syrian Army battalions known as the ‘Syrian Democratic Forces’ (SDF) have ensued on a blitz-like offensive during the past week, effectively capturing dozens of ISIS-held villages east of the Euphrates River. Rather remarkably, hundreds of Kurdish militants have also managed to cross the Euphrates River and capture the town of Tishreen; this maneuver completely overwhelmed local Islamist fighters loyal to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and forced them to flee towards Manbij.
The region in eastern Aleppo represents the last ISIS-held border area with Turkey and thus serves as a vital source of income and supplies for a caliphate which has been on decline since Russian airstrikes began in September of 2015. Currently, some 40 kilometers split government troops near Kuweiris from Kurdish militants near Tishreen. If these combined soldiers are able to capture al-Bab and Manbij, ISIS will be forced to retreat from the province of Aleppo entirely.