Syrian War Report – July 28, 2016: Major Gains of Pro-Government Forces in Aleppo

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Heavy clashes are ongoing in and near Aleppo city as pro-government forces are tightening the siege of its militant-controlled areas.

On July 27, the Fateh Halab militant group launched an advance on the Kurdish controlled neighborhood of Aleppo city, Sheikh Maqsood. The Fateh Halab advance was supported by heavy artillery fire from the militant-controlled neighborhoods of Bani Zaid and Sakan Shababi. However, jihadists were not able to break the Kurdish YPG defenses and Fateh Halab lost several fighters in the failed advance.

Then, YPG units counter-attacked the militants in Youth Housing and seized it. This move contributed to the Syrian army’s operation aimed to encircle east of Aleppo.

When the Kurds were clashing with militants in Youth Housing, the Syrian army advanced in the Bani Zeid neighborhood, engaging the jihadi forces assisting Fateh Halab’s operations against the Kurds. Later, the Kurdish YPG also engaged militants in the area from the direction of Sheikh Maqsood.

By July 28, the Syrian army has captured a major part of the the district. If Bani Zeid is fully liberated, the Syrian army and the Kurdish YPG will need to consolidate their gains in west Aleppo, preparing for further clashes for the urban areas under the jihadi rule.

Reports appeared on July 28 that Jaysh Al-Fateh is massively deploying fighters in the southern countryside of Aleppo province in order to launch an offensive at Al-Hadher. This operation is aimed to lift the pressure from the militants encircled by pro-government forces in Aleppo city. There are no confirmed reports about numbers of fighters and military equipment that will be used by the militant group.

At least 44 people were killed and more than 170 others were wounded in a terrorist attack in the city of Qamishli on Wednesday. The ISIS terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attack.

The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), supported by the US-led coalition, have been struggling to enter the Manbij city center. Recently, the SDF seized over 10000 ISIS intelligence documents after seizing the group’s command center in western Manbij.

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  • Alex M

    Manbij will be liberated soon, ISIS is fully encircled and on the verge of collapse there with most of the city under SDF control. Aleppo’s liberation will follow as the SAA & YPG have succeeded in cutting off the only supply lines entering the jihadi controlled area of the city. After Manbij falls the SDF is probably going to continue south-west to Al-Bab and then further west to link up Afrin and Kobani cantons. Their next priority would probably be clearing Northern Aleppo province of ISIS & Islamist scum and then consolidating their gains. Only then would the SDF make an offensive on Raqqa and Dier ez-Zoir.

    • Jens Holm

      Well, I hope they dont, even its making very good sence. The SDF problem is, that they are to much out of own territory.

      Better to divede ISIS/Dash and stop all selling oil from there – I think political meant for the future. Its a better defence line against Assad too.

      • Boris Kazlov

        Defense against Assad? So the Syrian president is the real enemy, right? CIA trolls taking off their masks.

        • Jens Holm

          The fighting began with an uprise against Assad by all – very different opposition groups.

          Soon The ISIS, The Kaidas and The Nusras were the biggest and best organized and Kaida and ISIS became and were a big treat to the rest of the world(Kaida in its best days already was).

          There is no mask. Assad has been killing and killing and controlling all opposition and baycut a.s.o. has been going on for Years. Every is an open book.

          USA came in with some money to several groups in N.V. and S of Syria. Well every body else do.

          Russia has supported Assad, Father and the Bads for many years and now Assads have great help from Hisbollah and a litlle from Iran too.

          Groups in the northwest get help from almost anybody and sell oil too.

          See trolls and disinformation many places in the Area called Syria as well as in the neighborhod. Its not true US is the only one.

          You can write the information a litle by a little – even on a map every time there is a bit of in the news. You not even has to be there. Thats the bad thing with internet and sattelite TV – as some say in Iran.

      • mata

        “Syrian democratic forces”? They are not syrian, they are not democratic, and they are not even a force.

        • Alex M

          Yes they’re Syrians. Whether Yazidi, Kurdish, Arab, Turkmen, Syriac, Sunni, Shia, Atheist or Christian, they’re all Syrians (with the exception of a few brave partisans from across the world). The constitution of the Federation of Northern Syria specifies the territorial integrity of Syria should remain. If Assad doesn’t want to implement democratic federalism, any de-facto partition is his fault.
          They’re completely democratic. The constitution guarantees human rights, women’s rights, freedoms, religious & cultural rights and grass-roots democracy. More democratic than many western countries.
          They’ve liberated almost all of Northern Syria from ISIS, how is that not a force to be reckoned with?

        • Jens Holm

          What kind of human being are You by telling Kurds & Co are not Syrians.

          In fact thats the main point – not having same right as the majority incl The Assads as syrians.

          Same thing in Turkey & Iraq and diveded and moved around as sheeps and killed by artillery and chemical weapons.

          No wo´nder they want Assad away and a system for everybody – democratic or whatever instead.

    • VGA

      Aleppo is MUCH bigger than Manbij. Don’t expect a full liberation any time soon. But making life hell for the terrorists is good, stifle the life out of them. Make them beg for a diplomatic solution.

      • Alex M

        They’ve got it more or less completely surrounded. I never said it would be soon, just that it’s inevitable. I’m talking about the area encircled by the SAA (to the south and west of Kurdish controlled Sheikh Maqsud). The areas east of that won’t be liberated any time soon.

    • Aquartertoseven

      No way they’d be able to get to Ab Bab and then Afrin with ISIS to the north (Jarabulus) and south of them, after Manbij they need to strike north and get to the border. Then sweep west. Only then.

      • Alex M

        That’s a possibility too. I’ve heard conflicting reports saying that either Jarabulus or Al-Bab is the next target after Manbij.
        The problem I see with going after Jarabulus is that it’s right on the border with Turkey and well-within Turkish artillery range. Better in my mind to cut off ISIS and unite with Afrin first, then push north and take the Turkish border.
        Most of the stretch between SDF captured areas around Manbij and the eastern-most front of Afrin is actually north of the SAA. There’s no SAA presence anywhere near Jarabulus, but there is a big ally of ISIS (Turkey).

        • Horst Dreher

          Yeah, Jarabulus first would be the safer way. But as you said, no one knows the turkish reaction.
          But I dont think they will be able to get to al-Bab or even link to Afrin. ISIS has such a massive presence in the area at the moment. First there should be other active fronts where ISIS has to send troops to. But SAA is mainly focused on Aleppo City for a while i guess.

          • Aquartertoseven

            @@comrademarxist:disqus
            @@horstdreher:disqus

            The SDF are US backed, Turkey won’t do a thing. They didn’t do anything to stop them crossing the Euphrates (which they said was a red line) to go for Manbij, they won’t for Jarabulus, at a time where Erdogan is under fire for his coup hunt.

            ISIS will be massively distracted by the Mosul offensive, they’ll pull out of Syria’s northwestern sector leaving it to the taking. The SDF will swarm the area, and being flanked on both sides, the rebels in the Azaz pocket will flee to Turkey and go through to Idlib, leaving the entire northern stretch of Syria in Kurdish hands.

          • Alex M

            I certainly hope so! Erdogan has previously shelled SDF positions in Northern Aleppo province, bought oil from ISIS, directly armed Al Nusra and bombed PKK units in Iraq. But it’s all been for nought as the SDF has persevered, they’re all paper tigers.
            As you mentioned that still leaves the Turkey-Idlib border area wide open so Islamist rebels like Ahrar Al-Sham and Al Nusra will still get plenty of Turkish support. But ISIS will be cut off from the rest of the world, unable to take in foreign fighters, sell their oil, resupply themselves with weapons & ammunition and they’ll be unable to smuggle their terrorists out of Syria towards Europe.

          • Aquartertoseven

            Yep, I’ve thought this through Alex; I am Alexander reborn! With the Mosul offensive crushing ISIS in the east and no reinforcements coming the closed border in the west, ISIS will crumble and their territory will be reclaimed more easily than the SAA would expect. Then the focus goes on Idlib.

          • Alex M

            I think Southfront has suggested that after Aleppo the next main focus of the SAA is going to be taking Idlib. I could see, after the SDF has captured Manbij, Jarabulus, Al-Bab, Azaz and all of North Aleppo, the SDF returning to their southward offensive on Raqqa.

          • Aquartertoseven

            Idlib will be such a massive struggle, seeing how much the SAA fails in Latakia and Southern Aleppo, I don’t honestly believe that they’ll be able to take the region. ISIS have to be entirely out of the equation for even the faintest hope, to use all of the troops in Deir Ezzor, Palmyra etc.

            Raqqa isn’t really Kurdish so far as I know, that’s why the SDF don’t have much of an appetite for taking it. Seeing the loss of life over Manbij, I think they’ve been quite put off by the thought of going after another densely populated settlement. Then again, they may want/need to secure their borders as opposed to the thin strip they currently have. Most if not all territory north of the Euphrates probably sounds appealing to them. The US will really have to sweeten the deal to entice them, whether through further funding or with US troops leading the way, and America will really want such a momentous event like toppling Raqqa to happen through their actions, instead of giving Assad the prestige/legitimacy.

          • Alex M

            Ya, I was really surprised when I read that. Greater Idlib is the heartland of rebel Islamism in Syria and their strongest strong-hold. There was talk back in May of Al Nusra declaring an Islamic Emirate in the Greater Idlib region. It looks as though the other Islamist groups seeking international legitimacy and the appearance of being “moderate opposition” talked them into pretending to not be Al Qaeda.
            As for Raqqa, the SDF is at least 40% non-Kurdish (although the YPG/YPJ is still the backbone of the coalition) and they’ve liberated plenty of non-Kurdish areas. They figure the decentralized nature of the Northern Syria Federation allows a more polyethnic state (remember the PKK./PYD isn’t nationalist in the sense of wanting an ethnically homogenous state) and they’ve prettywell embraced other ethnic groups so long as they’re secular. Besides, Raqqa is the strategic head of ISIS in Syria and it’s where most ISIS terrorist attacks against Rojava originate from.
            The US has sent in 3,000 troops and are already assisting in this way so I imagine they’ll send in Us troops (calling them “advisors”). The US-Turkey relationship is at an all-time low after the coup so I can certainly see increased cooperation as time goes on.

          • Aquartertoseven

            Good to have a chat about all of this, with someone just as interested, it really is fascinating. Awful of course, but it’s history, like reading about the World Wars.

          • Jens Holm

            agree very much.

            It should impress everybody that they take Manbij and if they could make Raqqa more unsafe for Daesh. Raqqa is prestige for the Assads.

          • Jens Holm

            Well I`m a logistic one. Could be better to cut off Raqqa and divede ISIS, cut off the supply line from the Turks in eastern Syria – and give them overload.

            Might be Idlib is more obvius but tuffer too – Many houses & civilians – not a place for the new tanks.

  • Qasim

    Syrian government, well done. Crush all terrorists.

  • Lars M

    Great news go SA!