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End of Nubl and Al-Zahraa siege; strategic gains

4 February 2016 20:27


In addition to its psychological importance, the breaking of blockade imposed on two towns of Nubl and Al-Zahraa in Northern governorate of Aleppo will have some strategic outcomes, the most important of which was that the supply routes to rebel groups from the Turkish border to Aleppo would be cut off.

The towns of Nubl and Al-Zahraa with a population of 35 to 40 thousand people are predominantly Twelver Shiites. They are located 20 km Northwest of Aleppo and 40 kilometers from the Turkish borders, and that is why they are of such a strategic importance.
Large-scale operations of the Resistance Forces began on Monday aimed to break the blockade imposed on two towns of Nubl and Al-Zahraa, whose people have remained loyal to the Syrian government despite the tight blockade run by terrorists over the past four years.
The operations, with the participation of Hezbollah fighters, Iraqi Shiites (mostly from Al-Nujaba Movement), national defense forces and the Syrian army units proved a success in the first days and the allied forces succeeded to win back the northern parts of town of Bashkoy, and villages of Doweir al-Zaytoun, Tal Jabin.
Resistance Forces in less than 24 hours from the start of the operation managed to seize back the control of several villages, including Hardatanin and Raitan in northern Aleppo governorate. Hardatanin is situated four or five kilometers to the East of Nubl and Al-Zahraa, and for this reason the analysts believe to win back these two towns would put an end to the presence of rebel armed groups in the region. Meanwhile, the field events in the first days of the operation suggest that the blockade of these towns would break within the next few days.
Obviously, the liberation of these towns whose people have remained loyal to the government could invigorate the pro-government armed groups, but the strategic gains of the Resistance Forces in winning back Nubl and Al-Zahraa are much more important.
Nubl and Al-Zahraa are situated in the West of the international route of Aleppo which goes up to Turkish borders. As a result, the dominance of the Resistance Forces over these areas would cut the supply route from the Turkish border to terrorist armed groups in Aleppo, a point which has added to worries of the opponents.
Anab News website, affiliated to the Syrian rebel groups, discussing the advances of the Syrian army in the region, wrote: ‘If the Syrian army manages to seize control of the town, it would practically cut the route to northern Aleppo, and as a result Aleppo will be encircled completely. Reuters also quoting a rebel commander known as Abu Yunis, reported that ‘there is no back-up, and the Syrian regime can besiege Aleppo and cut off the northern path.’
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