Southern Aleppo’s offensive by Syrian Regime & foreign allies

Southern Aleppo’s offensive by Syrian Regime & foreign allies | November 2015

Rapid advances achieved recently by Regime forces and their foreign allies (backed by Russian air-forces) in the recent offensive on the Rebel-held southern countryside of Aleppo.

Regime plans for this offensive could be one of the following:

1- Reaching the besieged Fuah & Kafaraya villages in north of Idlib.

2- Entering Idlib province and reaching the strategic city of Saraqib, as well as cutting the M5 road between Aleppo and Idlib.

3- Heading to Abu Adhuhur area in eastern Idlib, in order to retake the airbase and continue advances toward Khanasir area.

Map: North of Homs | Syria | October 17

Map: North of Homs | Syria | October 17, 2015

The Northern countryside of Homs province is the strong Rebel-held in the province since the beginning of the war in 2011. Rebels retreated to Northern Homs after losing their controlled areas in Homs city, Qusayr area, the Western & Eastern countrysides. It is clear that the area is very important and strategic, as Russia started their campaign in Syria by bombing Northern Homs areas.

Map: North of Quneitra | Syria | October 7

Map: The Military Situation in North of Quneitra | Syria | October 7, 2015 | archicivilians via IUCA

Rebels launched new offensive in the new battle which was named as “Wa Bashir al-Sabireen” in north of Quneitra province. Rebels were able to take important areas like the strategic hill of Tall Ahmar, Ayn al-Nuriyah village, al-Amal Farms and other military positions.

Regime forces in Hadar village are now in threat, since they will be besieged and cut off if Rebels will be able to advance 5 KM northerly to reach Beit Jinn area in Western Ghouta.

Map: The Military Situation in Fuah & Kafarya in North Idlib | Syria | September 20

Map: The Military Situation in Fuah & Kafarya in North Idlib | Syria | September 20

Fuah and Kafarya villages are the last two Regime-held spots in Idlib province. Rebels failed in several offensives since years to take these two villages since they are considered as pro-Regime villages, as well as the only Shiite populated area in Idlib province, in addition to huge number of Regime and Hezbollah fighters who are supported from the local pro-Regime civilians of Fuah & Kafarya.

In the last two offensives, Rebels were able to take the small village of Sawaghiyah in the addition to the western hill of the village “Tall Khirbah”. Clashes going in Deir al-Zaghb area and Rebels were able to take the Regime’s southern defensive points of Fuah village, including the trenches.

It seems Rebels trying to take Fuah village only, in order to let Regime fighters retreat toward Kafarya and give them the chance to surrender or ask for agreements as what happened between Ahrar al-Sham and the Iranian IRGC in July/August; Stop Regime/Hezbollah offensive on Zabadani town near Damascus to stop the Rebel offensive on Fuah & Kafarya in North Idlib).

Map: The Military Situation in NorthEast Damascus | Syria | September 12, 2015

Map: The Military Situation in NorthEast Damascus | Syria | September 12, 2015 | archicivilians via IUCA

Syrian opposition forces (Rebels) new heavy offensive in the north eastern side of Damascus, aiming to take Adra Prison and the areas on the eastern side of the M5 Rd (Damascus / Homs Road), as well as entering Dahiyat al-Assad area.


Map: The Military Situation in NorthEast Damascus | Syria | September 13, 2015

Rebels were able to advance during their offensive (named as “Allahu Ghalib Battle”) and took control of the Military Security Branch, Electrical Station and other areas, in addition to the northern Mountains overlooking Douma area, as well as 3 KM from the M5 Rd, between Wafidin Camp and Harasta. Jaysh al-Islam (Rebel group whose leading the offensive) announced that they finished the first phase of the offensive.

Overview on the situation in SouthEast Turkey – Hakkari, Mardin & Sirnak provinces – Turkey’s campaign against PKK

Overview on the situation in SouthEast Turkey – Hakkari, Mardin & Sirnak provinces – Turkey’s campaign against PKK

The Turkish/PKK conflict had started more than 30 years ago, as ceasefire and truce agreements were signed several times during this ongoing conflict. After the bomb attack (by ISIS) against Kurdish movement in the city of Suruc near the Syrian borders, PKK militants launched an attack in the city of Ceylanpinar, killing 2 Turkish policemen. The Turkish government considered this actions as an end for the truce agreement, and launched new campaign against the PKK and their allies in South East Turkey and Northern Iraq (KRG).

HAKKARI Province

Kurdish armed groups (mainly HPG / PKK) are controlling large parts of Daglica Mount, which is considered as their stronghold in Hakkari province. In September 6, a Turkish military convoy was ambushed by HPG fighters in the area, killing between 15 to 30 soldiers, as “Hurriyet” (Turkish source) confirmed that 16 were killed, buried in Van city in September 8.

The Turkish army sending reinforcements to Hakkari’s countryside (mainly near Yuksekova, Semdinli and the border town of Cukurca), trying to secure the roads between those cities, especially after the recent HPG’s ambush. Several areas were attacked by airstrikes. Tensions still taking place time by time in both of Hakkari and Yuksekova cities.

Reports about surprise attack by PKK from the Iraqi’s KRG borders in the past days, followed by clashes between PKK fighters and Turkish Jandarma forces for few hours; the Turkish Jandarma forces were able to secure the city later.

Semdinli city is controlled by the Turkish security forces, as clashes taking place in the near mountains.

MARDIN Province

Both of Mardin and Kiziltepe cities are controlled by the Turkish security forces. Kurdish armed groups (mainly PKK) were able to launch several attacks in the past days and weeks against the Turkish police, leaving many deaths among policemen and civilians.

Clashes are taking place in the countryside of Mardin, as some vehicles of Turkish security forces were ambushed near the city of Mardin by Kurdish armed groups (mainly HPG / PKK), number of Turkish soldiers reportedly killed.

Tensions taking place in and around the border city of Nusaybin, since the city is almost controlled by Kurdish armed groups (mainly YDG-H / PKK). YDG-H fighters are digging trenches in the streets of the city, in order to prevent the Turkish security forces from entering the neighborhoods. No recent clashes reported in the city so far.

SIRNAK Province

Sirnak city is almost controlled by the Turkish security forces, as few clashes reported in the past weeks and days between policemen and YDG-H fighters.

Reports in the past days about several attacks by Kurdish armed groups (mainly HPG / PKK) against governmental buses and trucks, and army vehicles on the road between Sirnak and Cizre.

Kurdish fighters from YDG-H (PKK) are controlling some areas in the city of Cizre, and launched several attacks in the past weeks. YDG-H fighters are using barriers and digging trenches in order to prevent Turkish security forces from entering their areas. The situation in the city of Cizre has calmed recently (mainly in Cudi, Yafes and Nur neighborhoods), no clashes reported so far.

The situation in the city of Silopi is very similar to Cizre, as YDG-H fighters are also launching attacks against Turkish security forces vehicles.


*Thanks to Yuunus Kurdistani (from Stêrk TV) for providing some information about the latest movements in South East Turkey.

Maps: The Changes in the Military Situation of Kobane (Ayn al-Arab) in Syria and Sinjar (Shingal) in Iraq between October 2014 & February 2015

Maps: The Changes in the Military Situation of Kobane (Ayn al-Arab) in Syria and Sinjar (Shingal) in Iraq between October 2014 & February 2015 | archicivilians

YPG/FSA & Peshmerga/YPG/Ezidis/PKK victories against Daesh (ISIL) in Syria and Iraq

After their rise in 2014 started by gaining large territories from Syrian Rebels in North and East of Syria, as they gained from the Iraqi government in the mid of 2014 large areas in the West of Iraq, Daesh (Islamic State Organization) launched offensives in the summer of 2014 on the Kurdish areas in Iraq and Syria and gained many areas. Kobane (Ayn al-Arab) area in Syria and Sinjar (Shingal) area in Iraq was the most strategic areas that Daesh was really aiming to control. Daesh was able to take Sinjar the city and besiege Sinjar Mountain, at the same time, they were able to advance rapidly in Kobane in Syria and take over all the village in the area including half of the city.

At the end of 2014 and with the support of the International Coalition air-forces, a new YPG/FSA advancement in Kobane area in Syria, while Peshmerga/YPG/Ezidis/PKK new offensive launched on Sinjar area. Peshmerga/YPG/Ezidis/PKK were able to break the siege on Sinjar Mount and enter Sinjar City again from the northern outskirts and the battle still ongoing in the city. YPG/FSA were able to retake Kobane City and most of the areas they lost in 2014, and were able to enter Raqqah Province and advance toward Manbij area by getting closer to Qarah Qawzaq Bridge and surrounding the area.