Over the past week, Kurdish militants of the YPG and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have captured several previously rebel-held villages in northern Aleppo, including the strategic Menagh Airbase. Meanwhile, ten days ago, government forces broke the 3-year old siege on Nubl and al-Zahraa and subsequently captured a handful of villages, including Kafr Naya, from Islamist insurgents.

Nevertheless, although rebel forces in northern Syria combat both Kurds, the Syrian Army and ISIS at three different flanks, they still hold the three major cities of Mare, Tall Rifaat and Azaz. However the latter city has been encircled by Kurdish fighters over the past 48 hours as preliminary reports indicate clashes at the western entrance and national hospital in Azaz.

If the YPG and SDF was to capture the strategic city of Azaz, this would enable a major offensive eastwards towards their Kurdish comrades in Kobane and Hasakah. However, both the nation of Turkey, various Islamist rebel factions and ISIS commanders have other intentions for the region as they intend to keep the Turkish-Syrian border open for supplies, oil and ammunition. Also, the Syrian Arab Army is gradually closing in on al-Bab and Azaz from the south as government forces have greatly expanded their territory in Aleppo province since October of 2015.

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Student currently living in Denmark. Special focus on news from Syria, MENA map-making and strategical military analysis.

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Sebastian Sebastian
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Sebastian Sebastian

some source says the war stop.. What would you say?

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Karel Vd Geest

The war should stop indeed but peace seems unlikely. A cease fire seems to be the most possible. An idea might be a ceasefire of a year and use that year to find a political solution, a year without blockades of food and medicine, a year without preconditions.

A year that could be used to destroy IS and jihadi islamists.

Tarig Anter
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Tarig Anter
Amin
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Amin

I don’t know what the reason is that SAA and its allies are advancing too slow like turtles even though they are equipped with high quality guns and Russian T90 tanks and air support and … . They should learn from Kurds, lessons of fighting. They are advancing too fast even thought they are not as equipped as SAA and its allies. Hurry up…

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Sean_in_Nyc

This is not a video game. Soldiers must rest, sleep, equipment must be repaired, etc. Air cover can only do so much, like taking out armored units and major troop concentrations. You cannot expect airstrikes every time there is a sniper somewhere. Urban warfare is slow, ugly and tough. Inside cities you measure advances in metres, not kilometres.

Leo
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Leo

Why has SAA dvance lost momentum? There is only 10 Days befor cease fire agreement starts, every second should be incredibly valuble for SAA, no?

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Karel Vd Geest

SDF should hurry up and take Azaz and Tell Rifaat from the west and then on eastward. As long as they get air cover from Russia they can continue but would be wise to stay away a few kms from the border with Turkey. Give the FSA an out to withdraw so the area can be taken more easily. Secular parts of the FSA might want to join up with the SDF, the more so of they can get a place in a new forth Rojava canton. From Tishrin the drive on Manbij and then westward to kurdish areas north… Read more »

Leo
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Leo

Amigo, right now there is no advances around Aleppo and it has been so for several days now after the freeing of Menagh airbase. Nor kurds, nor SAA is making any progress. And both kurds n SAA can count on Russian offencive airsupport for just 10 more days , after that – cease fire