Syrian Kurds known as the YPG, backed by the Russian Air Force captured the strategic city of Tel Rifat in northern Aleppo from ISIL on Monday.
The highly strategic city close to the Turkish border is a loss for the terrorists and lays the road open for an advance eastwards into Islamic State territory.
Fars News English reports:
The People’s Protection Units (YPG) who enjoyed the Russian air backup prevailed the terrorists’ positions from the Western direction and shook hand with other Kurdish troops who entered the town from the North.
The YPG Kurds have recently bonded with the Damascus government. The Syrian army sent several arms cargoes to the YPG troops in the Northeastern province of Hasaka and trained the first group of Kurdish volunteer forces in the provincial capital city of Hasaka last week.
FNA battlefield dispatches said Monday night that heavy clashes are underway on the Eastern outskirts of the city as Ahrar al-Sham terrorists and groups of Al-Nusra Front – that have just arrived in Northern Aleppo via the Turkish territories – are retreating from their positions.
The Kurdish fighters, backed up by the Russian fighter jets, Syrian army artillery units and popular forces launched the assault on the terrorists in Tel Rifat in two fronts.
The first units of the YPG engaged in clashes with the terrorists from the Western direction of the strategic town North of Aleppo province, while other units started an attack from the Northern flank.
The first group arrived at the Western gates of the town on Sunday, while the second group had to purge several small towns and villages to open up the path to Tel Rifat and, hence, arrived in the Northern parts of the city on Monday.
The second groups of Kurdish fighters approaching the strategic town from the North comprised of YPG and SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces) units.
The SDF that is comprised of mainly Kurdish fighters as well as a few hundred Syrian Arab dissident forces have received trainings from the US and have been provided with scanty US-coalition air support in their battles in Raqqa province in Northeastern Syria; but in Northern and Northwestern battlefronts, they have been operating alongside the YPG and received the Russian air backup in their Aleppo wars that started with the conquest of Tishrin Dam on the Euphrates early in February.
Assisted by the Syrian army – that has along with popular forces and Hezbollah conquered almost all militant-held regions in Eastern, Southern, Western and Northwestern Aleppo province – and Russian air support, the Kurdish forces fighting against the terrorists in North-Northeast Aleppo province have been making striking advances against the Al-Nusra, Ahrar al-Sham and ISIL terrorists in February.
“The militant groups have been surprised by the rapid offensive of the Kurdish fighters and have been pinned down behind their defense lines in Tel Rifat,” sources from the Western flank told FNA on Sunday.
“The Russian warplanes carried out several combat sorties over the militants’ position in the around the town and destroyed their defense lines,” they added.
Later on Sunday, the Kurdish fighters, backed by Russian fighter jets, engaged in intense clashes with the terrorist groups at the Western entrance of the strategic town and captured several building blocks.
To hinder to slow down the rapid advances of the Northern units, Turkey relocated hundreds of terrorists from Idlib province to Aleppo via its soil in the weekend.
“At least 400 militants were transferred to Northern Aleppo to help the terrorists who are losing the ground to the Kurdish fighters who are backed by Russian air force,” Arab media outlets disclosed on Sunday.
In addition, the Turkish army started days of nonstop pounding of the Kurdish fighters in Northern Aleppo on Friday to pin them down specially in the North and prevent them from shaking hands with other Kurdish troops fighting in the Northern Aleppo town.
The Turkish army shelling has targeted both Syrian army positions in Northern Lattakia and Kurdish fronts in Northern Aleppo and continued for four days now.
Several villages in vast areas of Afrin in Northwestern Syria came under artillery shelling by the Turkish army and terrorist groups all throughout Sunday.
The Turkish army, Al-Nusra Front and Ahrar al-Sham pounded the villages of Marimin and Anab in Afrin region on Sunday. Residents of Marimin and Anab said that their villages were hit with over numerous rockets and 30 artillery shells today.
Report said on Saturday that Turkey’s army shelled Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) positions near the city of Azaz in Northwestern Syria. Turkish forces started shelling an airbase and a village, recently captured by Kurds, in Aleppo province in Syria.
A Kurdish official confirmed that the shelling targeted the Minaq air base located South of Azaz in Aleppo province.
“Turkish forces started shelling People’s Protection Units [YPG] positions on the territory of the Minaq airbase,” a YPG spokesperson told the Arabic-language TV channel, Al-Mayadeen on Saturday.
Turkey vowed on Sunday that it would not allow the pro-government forces in Syria to capture the militant-held city of Azaz close to its border.
On Monday, the Kurdish “People’s Protection Units” (YPG), enjoying Russian air backup, continued to advance against the militant groups in the Northern part of Aleppo province and stormed the militant groups’ defense lines near the small town of Kaljabrein in the surroundings of Tal Rifat, killing, at least, 40 terrorists.
The Russian fighter jets have played significant role in the recent victories of the Kurdish fighters in the province.
The Kurdish fighters seized control over Kaljabrein-Tal Rifat road and killed one of the commanders of Jeish al-Fatah, nom de guerre Ismayeel Naddaf.
Later on Monday, a main line of supply of the terrorist groups to Tal Rifat was cut by the heavy mortar shelling of the YPG forces.
“The YPG forces, deployed on the road of Ein al-Daqnah to Kaljabrein, pounded a road connecting Tal Rifat to the towns of Azaz and Marea in the Northern part of Aleppo province, leaving the militants in Tal Rifat with no way towards its Northern side,” sources said.
Sources also said “both the Kurdish fighters and the terrorists have been targeting each other by their artillery shelling since the early hours of this (Monday) morning”.
A report said earlier today that the Syrian army once again deployed the Russian T-90 tanks against the terrorists in Aleppo Front in Northern Syria.
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