DAMASCUS, SYRIA (2:04) – Over 80 joint Syrian and Russian airstrikes targeted the Da’esh stronghold of Maskanah located in the eastern countryside of Aleppo on Saturday.
This strategic city is located on the highway between Aleppo and Raqqa, and commands ISIS’s supply route between Raqqa and Deir Hafer, another ISIS stronghold in east Aleppo positioned 6 kilometers from Kuweirus Airbase.
From the looks of it, the Syrian military command aims to capture Maskanah prior to capturing Deir Hafer, which has been fortified by a sophisticated trench system for over two years by the terror group. Hence, capturing Maskanah will force the terrorist group to retreat from Deir Hafer to avoid being surrounded by the flanking Syrian forces.
Liberating Maskanah will be no easy task, however. Video footage from the Maskanah plains revealed that ISIS has managed to establish a strong line of defense along Jirah airbase that is located 10 km north of the city. Syrian and Russian warplanes are hammering away at those defenses day and night ahead of the anticipated offensive that will sweep through the fertile Maskanah plains.
So far, the Tiger Forces have made remarkable progress in the eastern countryside of Aleppo liberating over 150 villages including Khafsah and its pumping station which quenches the thirst of the million plus inhabitants of Aleppo reaching the Euphrates river for the first time in four or five years.
The first phase of the operations in the Aleppo countryside was to secure the southern countryside of Al-Bab in order to build a large bufferzone around the vital Sheikh Najjar Industrial City and the strategic Kuweirus Airbase.
The second phase of operations was aimed at capturing Khafsah and its pumping stations for evident reasons. This in turn established the first land connection between the SDF-held Syrian north and the SAA-held industrial belt of M5-highway urban centers. Overwhelming positive impact on the Syrian economy is anticipated as the cheap raw resources of northern Syria make their way to the revamping factories and businesses in Aleppo, Homs, and Damascus.
All the while, the aforementioned advances enabled the Syrian Army to contain the Turkish invasion of north Aleppo cutting them off at Al-Bab from the rest of the countryside of Aleppo.
The third phase which is expected to launch in the coming few days will likely be intended to seize Deir Hafer and Maskanah eradicating Daesh’s self-proclaimed Wilayet Halab after a short-lived 5 years of brutal war against the Kurdish YPG, Turkish-backed jihadists, and the government troops.
The capture of Maskanah will begin a new stage of the war as the Syrian Army expands along the oil-rich Euphrates basin and nears Raqqa where the Ba’athist government enjoys considerable support from the local Arab tribes that detest ISIS.