Commanders: Winning Back Kuweires Military Airport Prelude to Greater Advances
“The operations will not stop at the airport, but the airport will be a springboard for the battles to the East of Aleppo,” Syrian Army Commander Colonel Suheil Hassan said on Wednesday.
Other Syrian army commanders expressed views similar to Colonel Hassan, reiterating that their success in lifting the several-long siege of Kuweires serves as the key to further advances in the Aleppo province.
Military experts also said that breaking the two and a half-year-long siege of Kuweires military airbase in Eastern Aleppo paved the way for taking control of another strategic city in the Northern Syrian province as 100 kilometers more of militant-held territories was seized back.
On Tuesday evening, the Syrian army, popular and Hezbollah forces, backed by the Syrian and Russian air forces lifted the siege of Kuweires military airbase after killing hundreds of ISIL terrorists.
“The situation in Aleppo will surely be different after lifting the Kuweires siege; the ISIL and Al-Nusra Front militants in Aleppo province, specially in its Northern countryside, should be waiting for massive military operations by the army and the popular forces from now on,” political and military analyst Seyed Mostafa Khoshcheshm said Wednesday.
The Arabic-language Al-Akhbar newspaper likened breaking the siege of Kuweires military airport to breaking the siege of Aleppo’s central prison in May 2014 not because of the severity of the clashes, but because of their key impacts on the continuation of Army’s operations in Aleppo countryside.
As winning back Aleppo’s Central Prison was key to a new phase of military operations in Aleppo province, the same is true about Kuweires Military Airport, it said.
The lifting of Kuweires Military Airport siege will also pave the way for seizing back the strategic town of Al-Bab.
The Syrian troops and Hezbollah forces rolled into the Kuweires airport at the end of their daylong last phase of massive operations on Tuesday.
Heavy clashes were underway around the Kuweires airport since early Tuesday morning and the Syrian army was defusing ISIL’s minefield before they could reach their friends in the base.
The Syrian army, the National Defense Forces (NDF) and Hezbollah combatants, backed up by Russian warplanes, launched the last round of their over one-month-long joint operations against the ISIL terrorists’ positions in Eastern Aleppo near the Kuweires airbase on Tuesday, and won full control over the strategic Aleppo-Raqqa Highway.
The attack started from multiple directions and ended up in cleaning up several villages from ISIL. Hundreds of the ISIL militants were killed or wounded in Tuesday operations.
In the next stage, Syrian and Russian Air Forces massively targeted the last strongholds of the ISIL militants around the Kuweires airbase.
In addition to the Syrian and Russian airstrikes, the artillery and mortar units of the army also shelled the ISIL strongholds to weaken their defense lines as much as possible to lay the ground for the combatants of Hezbollah, the army soldiers and the National Defense Forces to launch the final phase of their joint operations to lift the nearly 2.5-year-long siege on Kuweires airbase.
Intelligence sources said hundreds of ISIL militants were fleeing the Kuweires region to safer areas to save their lives after suffering heavy casualties in the joint massive attack of the Syrian Army and Hezbollah with the Russian air backup.
After cleaning the region, the pro-government troops had to defuse a minefield planted by the ISIL before they could reach the gates of airbase.
The ISIL Takfiri terrorists had besieged the Kuweires airbase for over 2.5 years, but the base itself was under the Syrian army’s control.
Hundreds of Syrian forces were under a tight siege at the airbase as a result of the occupation of vast areas surrounding the airport by the terrorists.
The Syrian army’s helicopters supplied foodstuff and other needs to the Syrian troops when the base was under siege.
Meantime, some 69 wanted militants turned themselves in to the Syrian authorities in Aleppo province as the army defeated the ISIL terrorists.
The wanted militants turned themselves in to the competent authorities, informed sources said.
Some 119 wanted terrorists from Homs province surrendered to the government as the terrorist groups are retreating from several areas across the country.
60 others from the provinces of Damascus, Quneitra and Homs also laid down arms and turned themselves in to the Syrian authorities on Saturday.
On Oct 28, 49 wanted persons from Damascus, Damascus Countryside, Quneitra, and Hama also surrendered.
On Nov 1, at least 184 terrorists have laid down arms and surrendered to the Syrian authorities in Damascus, Aleppo and Deir Ezzur provinces, local sources said.
Some 184 wanted persons from Damascus, Aleppo and Deir Ezzur turned themselves in to the authorities to be pardoned, provincial officials said.