Syrian Forces Take Besieged Towns

Syrian forces and its allied fighters are moving towards the Turkish border in order to cut off rebel supply lines.

Syrian Forces Take Besieged Towns

Syrian forces and their allies have succeeded in breaking a 3 year rebel siege of two towns in the Northwestern part of the country. Both the towns have majority Shia populations and were besieged by rebels groups. The assault by Syrian army have not only broken the terrorist siege but also severed vital supply lines from Turkey.

The breakthrough for Syrian forces has come after a string of military successes in the North of Aleppo. Russian jets have played a decisive role in the recent gains by the regime.

The towns of Nablus and Zahraa are estimated to have a population of around 60,000 people. They are linked with border areas that are presently controlled by Kurds who helped Syrian forces in the battle.

One of the rebels groups said that the siege of the town was broken by Syrian forces after they faced very stiff resistance by opposition fighters who were not only facing the regime and its allies, but also the entire Russian war machine. There had been hundreds of Russian air raids in the area during the fighting.

The official Syrian news agency SANA reported that people were celebrating in the streets of Zahraa and Nablus en masse welcoming Syrian forces and their allies.

Lebanese television station Al Manar which is associated with Hezbollah showed exclusive footage of the Syrian forces and its allied fighters as they entered the towns, the network also showed people of the two towns embracing the fighters. Syrian rebel groups had besieged the town since 2012. Syrian forces had been trying to reach these towns for 3 years in order to cut off rebel supply lines from Turkey.

Al-Jazeera reported from Turkey that the Syrian forces had finally achieved what was their objective for the past three years.

The success of Syrian troops is also being seen as a decisive point in the war since Turkey is the main lifeline of the opposition forces. The pro regime forces are saying that it is only the beginning since their main aim is to reach the border with Turkey. Meanwhile, the peace talks sponsored by the United Nations have been suspended till the end of this month.

John Kerry, the US Secretary of state has declared that the Syrian government and its Russian backers are deliberately stalling the negotiations. He further said that the continued assaults by Syrian forces and its allied militias are clear indications that they are not interested in seeking a political solution to the conflict. They would rather have a settlement at the edge of the sword.

The Syrian conflict has been going on for more than five years and has claimed the lives of more than 250,000 people. Millions of Syrians have also been displace within the country and without with hundreds of thousands seeking refuge in Europe.

Military experts are saying that a surge in the Syrian forces’ assaults is likely to bring a counter assault by rebels in the next few days.

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Bill Schroder

Bill Schroder is a Beirut-based correspondent for The World Beast. He has reported from over a dozen countries in the Middle East for such publications. Follow: Tweets by @SchroderBill