After a 3 and a half year siege by rebels the Syrian State army has relieved the Shia towns of Nubul and Al Zahraa (60,000 people) and is cutting off supplies from Turkey to the rebel held part of Aleppo city…………………………
SEE MAP 5th Feb 16. Click map For Big Version.The towns were able to survive because they were supplied through the Kurdish enclave of Afrin,( in light orange marked SDF).The siege of Nubl and Zahra started on 19.07.2012.Siege lifted on 03.02.2016.The siege lasted for 3 years,6 months,2 weeks and 1 day.
In return it seems the Assad regime and Russians will spare Afrin, at least for now, though some air raids have occurred.
Immediately thousands of refugees are making their way into Afrin, as well as to the Turkish border, to escape the Syrian State offensive and Russian bombing.
The Kurds in Afrin are welcoming the refugees (5th Feb) but calling on an international effort to bring in supplies. (Afrin does have access to the Turkish border but Turkey wants to wipe them out as it is doing to Kurdish resistance in Iraq and SE Turkey.)
The Kurds are taking advantage of the Syrian State offensive to seize back Kurdish villages held by rebels north of Aleppo.
#YPG liberation of 2 villages around #Afrin with #YPG special forces https://youtu.be/z_MqeN-2BhE
The above map shows the precarious position of the rebels in Aleppo, as well as losing supply routes they could be encircled by Syrian State forces. The main rebel group is the Turkish backed Al Nusra.
video shows recapture of a Kurdish village and Turkish supplied booty
In the coming hours it may become clear if (as seems to be the case) the Syrian /Russian offensive will spare the Kurdish enclave of Afrin, where a non-statist, non religious, non -sexist form of municipal anarchism is being tried out, as in the other parts of Rojava
..report by The Free
Amidst north Aleppo chaos, thousands of displaced Syrians pour into ‘relative safety’ of Kurdish-held Afrin
AMMAN: Thousands of civilians displaced by a major ongoing regime offensive in the northern Aleppo countryside are seeking refuge in Afrin, a pocket of Kurdish-held territory in the province’s northwest perceived as “comparatively more secure and stable,” an Afrin activist told Syria Direct Thursday.
Nestled in the northwest corner of Aleppo province, Afrin is the westernmost of the four cantons making up Rojava, a swathe of Kurdish territories in northern Syria held and primarily administrated the Democratic Union Party (PYD).
“Displaced people started to pour in around a week ago,” Sheikhmous al-Afrini, a Kurdish aid activist in Afrin told Syria Direct on Thursday.
In images posted by local news page Efrin Anha on social media Wednesday, displaced north Aleppo residents sit surrounded by carpets, mattresses and plastic bags holding the possessions they were able to bring with them.
Displaced north Aleppo residents in Afrin on Wednesday. Photo courtesy of Efrin Anha.
Russia has reportedly launched hundreds of air raids using cluster munitions and vacuum missiles in recent days on the north Aleppo countryside to support regime forces operating on the ground, pro-opposition Shaam News Network reported on Tuesday. The bombings are “like rain,” Smart News correspondent Muhammad Najm a-Din told Syria Direct on Wednesday.
Those fleeing aerial and ground attacks have few options left after regime forces on Wednesday successfully broke a nearly four-year rebel siege of the pro-regime towns of Nubl and Zahraa in northwest Aleppo. By doing so, they severed rebel supply lines into Aleppo city as well as the supply of oil from Islamic State-held territories in eastern Aleppo to rebel-held Idlib province, Syria Direct reported on Wednesday.
Regime operations in the Aleppo countryside have displaced “around 40,000 people,” London-based Arabic daily Asharq al-Awsat tweeted on Thursday.
Fleeing civilians must now make a choice: head west to Kurdish-held Afrin or further north to the rebel-held Turkish border crossing in the hopes that Turkish authorities might let them through.
“Afrin is not bombarded by Russian, Syrian or [US-led international] coalition planes,” Hussein al-Halabi, a north Aleppo media activist told Syria Direct on Thursday. “It is relatively safe compared to what the rest of the opposition areas are subjected to.”
The General Command of the YPG, the PYD’s military wing, has established a special operations room “to receive the displaced and give them aid,” Afrin activist Razizan Hadou told Kurdish ARA News on Wednesday. The move came after “tens of thousands” of
internally displaced Syrians arrived in Afrin from the nearby Aleppo countryside in under 24 hours, Hadou said.
Turkish soldiers kill Rojava girl at border JINHA 4 Feb
EFRÎN – Turkish soldiers have killed a small girl at the border between Rojava’s Efrîn Canton and Turkey’s Kilis district.– See more at: http://www.bestane…
“In the absence of international aid organizations in Afrin, we are working to support the displaced,” said aid activist al-Afrini. Kurdish authorities and volunteers are providing transportation, blankets and medication to those who arrive, as well as “providing them with shelter in schools and setting up tents,” he said.