Al-Souria Net has learned from opposition sources in Aleppo that regime forces have begun to assemble in villages north of the town of Qabtan al-Jabal, specifically in Bashamar, after Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) handed over the area without a fight.
This mobilization is part of an attempt by the regime to advance in the area of Sheikh Aqeel which is only five kilometers from the town of Qabtan al-Jabal, the main headquarters for the Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement rebel group.
According to the sources, the regime units concentrated in the village began to open a number of military routes, as the mountainous and rugged region had made previous battles a graveyard for these forces because they were unable to withdraw without the cover of heavy rocket fire.
The sources said that “the aim of the incoming regime forces is to advance toward the town of Qabtan al-Jabal and directly from there to the area of Al-Fawj 111 (the Sheikh Suleiman brigade), which is a purely military zone that had encompassed a sector for modifying imported weapons in the past. It also contains fortified warehouses dug into the rocks, which makes them resistant to hostile air raids.”
There is also a chance the regime forces will move to the Qalaa Samaan front, north of the city of Darat Izza, since the YPG have been unable to prevent regime units from mobilizing on their territory.
The sources said that “the issue will become very dangerous for the opposition forces in the area since Darat Izza contains the highest point in northern Syria, Sheikh Barakat mountain, which overlooks all of the western and northern Aleppo countryside up to the northern Idleb countryside. If regime forces take control of it, it will be delivered immediately to Russian forces to set up air defense installments and jamming devices, since it overlooks Turkish territory.”
As a result, “residents of the city are preparing for this possibility by forming local brigades to fortify the lines with areas controlled by the YPG, digging trenches, and backing up the mountain area which is no more than five kilometers from the YPG."
"Russian air support could do everything for the regime — it could burn the ground ahead of the regime forces, just to take the mountain,” the source added.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.