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Thursday, February 11

YPG takes Mennagh Military Airport. Plus rebel defenses in N. Aleppo crumbling

South Front and other sources jumped the gun yesterday in their reporting on the battle while AMN played for patience. But now the airport is definitely under control of YPG and allied forces. This is great news. although bound to shake up Erdogan. But if he didn't send reinforcements to help fend off YPG at Mennagh, it looks unlikely he'll do so for other battles near the border.

If this observation is correct, it suggests he's folding his hand in Syria. His motto is probably No tickee no washee; if Islamic State etc. can't find a way to keep transporting large shipments of stolen oil across the border, would he spend real money to help the beleaguered 'rebels?' I think he'd prefer to fold and blame it on Americans and Europeans. This way he can wring a few more billion euros out of the EU by saying Turkey is now overrun by refugees and they're all heading Europe's way.

But we'll see what the sultan has up his sleeve.

Kurdish forces seize the Mennagh Military Airport
By Leith Fadel - 11/02/2016
AMN

The predominately Kurdish “People’s Protection Units” (YPG) – in close coordination with Jaysh Al-Thuwwar of the Syrian Democratic Forces – have established full control over the Mennagh Military Airport and 3 nearby villages after a 48 hour battle with the Islamist rebels of Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham, Jabhat Al-Shamiyah, and the Free Syrian Army (FSA).

With Mennagh Military Airport under their control, the YPG and SDF are now in position to strike the imperative city of ‘Azaz, which is the location of the Islamist rebels last border-crossing into Turkey from the Aleppo Governorate.

More importantly for the Kurdish forces, if ‘Azaz is captured, they will be able to link the Afrin Canton with the aforementioned city and then possibly with the remaining northern Syria cities that stretch as far east as the Al-Hasakah Governorate.

[END REPORT]

AMN isn't putting time stamps on its reports but the above report popped up I think within the last 60-90 minutes. What follows is a report filed by Leith from earlier today (Syria/Lebanon time), before he reported victory was declared at the airport. This second report also shows the tremendous progress YPG and allied forces are making this week. Yuppers, they're on a roll:

Rebel defenses fall apart as Kurdish and government forces advance in northern Aleppo
By Leith Fadel - 11/02/2016
AMN

[Includes a map of N. Aleppo which I can't make heads or tails out of. I like South Front's animated maps. And the music.]

The last 48 hours in northern Aleppo have been incredibly tense for the Islamist rebels of Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham, the Free Syrian Army (FSA), Harakat Nouriddeen Al-Zinki, and Jabhat Al-Shamiyah, as they have found themselves under fire along three different fronts by three different enemy forces.

On Wednesday, the Syrian Arab Army’s 154th Brigade of the 4th Mechanized Division – backed by Hezbollah, the National Defense Forces (NDF), and several Iraqi paramilitary units – imposed full control over the village of Kafr Naya after a 72 hour long battle with the Islamist rebels of Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham, Jabhat Al-Nusra (Syrian Al-Qaeda group), and Jaysh Al-Mujahiddeen.

As a result of their loss at Kafr Naya, the Islamist rebels now have their backs against the wall at their stronghold of Tal Rifa’at, which is located directly north of the captured village.

[continues with discussion of Mennagh battle, which was still in progress at the time of this report]

Despite several claims of its capture, the YPG and SDF have yet to take complete control of the Mennagh Military Airport; however, it is very likely to fall in the coming hours as the Islamist rebels lack the manpower to repel the swarming enemy forces. It may appear that the government and Kurdish forces are working together in northern Aleppo, but in reality, they are both operating autonomously [independently] of one another.

[END REPORT]

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