By Leith Fadel
February 8, 2016
Moments ago inside the Aleppo Governorate’s northern countryside, the predominately Kurdish “People’s Protection Units” (YPG) imposed full control over the imperative village of Deir Jamal after they forced the Islamist rebels of Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham and Jabhat Al-Shamiyah (Levantine Front) to retreat east following a violent confrontation on Sunday evening.
With the YPG seizing the village of Deir Jamal in northern Aleppo, the primary highway to the Mennagh Military Airport is now closed off to the Syrian Armed Forces and the Islamist rebels that once controlled this base.
Moreover, the loss of Deir Jamal to the YPG has put the Islamist rebels in a difficult position in northern Aleppo, as they are now wedged between three different forces: the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and their allies; the YPG and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF); and the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS).
What could possibly happen in the coming months is the YPG’s expansion into the strategic border-city of ‘Azaz, while the Syrian Arab Army concentrates on the rebel stronghold of Tal Rifa’at in northern Aleppo. Of course, this will be no easy task, give the proximity of these cities to the Turkish border and the large presence of Jihadists in the area.