Printed Edition ‖ No.: 223
The progress of the “Islamic State” organization in the northern countryside of Aleppo and its control of a number of towns there have led to the isolation of the city of Mare’ from the neighboring city of Izaz, which is the closest area of the Syrian opposition control, while residents of Mare’ started to displace themselves, through a passage within the areas under the control of “Democratic Syria” forces in the west, to get to the city of Afrin under the control of the “Self- Management”.
A complete siege of the city followed the progress and control of the State over a number of villages, such as Kal-Jibreen, Tal Jibreen, Kafr Kalbeen, Tal Hussein, Tamye, Breeshe in the northern countryside of Aleppo on Friday, May 27th, which caused the displacement of thousands of the residents of Mare’ towards areas under the control of “Democratic Syria”.
Enab Baladi’s reporter in Aleppo quoted field sources reporting that the recent battles against the State in the region have caused the deaths of a number of “Free Army” fighters, especially among “Fastaqim Kama Umrit” (Be Upright as Ordered) and “Liwaa al-Fatah” (conquest Brigade), while more than 20 civilians were killed due to the intensified shelling by the State’s artillery in each of Kal-Jibreen and Kafr Kalbeen, in addition to more than ten killed by raids of the coalition forces over the region following the progress of the organization.
Recent information point that the city of Mare’ is under total siege between the “Islamic State” organization on one hand and the “Democratic Syria” forces on the other, with the latter surrounding the west side of the city, while the organization besieges Mare’s northern, eastern and southern sides.
Booby-trapped War in the surrounding of Mare’
Not only did the organization progress to the surrounding of the city, they even tried breaking into the city through the three points they control around the city since Friday evening, amid resistance of “Free Army” factions since the clashes reached the city’s entrance, coinciding with the intensive shelling that targeted it and the clashes with the organization’s sleeper cells inside the city.
“Amaq” news agency of the organization mentioned that “two martyrdom operations struck two sites of the armed opposition in the surrounding of Mare'”, while the “Free” factions captured 4 elements of the State and killed dozens, according to activists who showed pictures of the elements’ bodies inside the city’s neighborhoods.
The “Islamic State” organization continued to attempt breaking into Mare’, while the opposition factions destroyed more than 5 car bombs sent by the organization on Saturday, before they were able to reach their targets.
Activists believe that the organization has moved from defense to attack in the north of Aleppo, after it regained most of the villages and towns earlier controlled by the “Free Army”, during ongoing battles since the beginning of this year, despite the military support offered by Turkey to these factions.
“Democratic Syria” enters Sheikh Isa
“Democratic Syria” forces took advantage of the organization’s progress into the surrounding of Mare’ to enter into the town of Sheikh Isa on the road to Mare’, after making a deal with the opposition factions in the region, by which they hand over the town in return of ensuring a safe passage for the civilians of Mare’ heading to Izaz.
However, the deal was not fulfilled, according to Enab Baladi’s reporter in Aleppo, who said that the forces did not allow the displaced people to head to Izaz or Daret Ezza, quoting activists that the “Democratic Syria” forces are trying to put the opposition under pressure with this move.
Saturday morning on May 28th, the forces entered the town, following a failed attack, according to the reporter, who explained that a delegation of the forces entered Sheikh Isa after warnings broadcasted through loudspeakers saying “Sheikh Isa town in exchange for the exit of Mare’s civilians to Izaz”, the thing that forced the “Free” factions to stay stationed in town in order to withdraw to Mare’.
The reporter referred to a possibility of allowing some families to get to each of Daret Ezza, west of Aleppo, and the city of Izaz whose residents protested on Saturday in front of the Central court of the city, demanding the factions to break the siege on Mare’, meanwhile, till Saturday evening, no one arrived from the city.
Thousands of displaced to Afrin
The reporter documented the displacement of more than 4 thousand people from Mare’, all of whom arrived to Afrin on Saturday afternoon, out of 1700 families suffering bad inhumane conditions, amid a difficulty of determining the exact numbers of the residents inside the city, while displacement move continue with the increasing intensity of the fighting on the outskirts of the city.
Enab Baladi’s reporter in Afrin confirmed that the “Self-Management” prevents anyone from communicating with the displaced. He also asserted that a group of more than 3 thousand people arrived on Saturday to Afrin and the villages surrounding, in addition to 500 more people, who arrived Friday to the towns of Tal Rifat, Kafr Naseh and Der Jamal.
The situation that the cities and towns of Aleppo’s northern countryside have been experiencing for a while now, is attributed by observers to an American-Turkish conflict in the region, meanwhile, civilians are the only ones paying the price for each battle fought on Syrian lands.
Observers demonstrated that Turkey supports the opposition factions in the region in order to secure its borders with Syria, while the US provides support to “Democratic Syria” forces, who in turn are attempting to progress, and who are, on the other hand, targeted by Ankara since they are considered the military wing of the Democratic Union Party, “which practices injustice even on the Syrian Kurds”, according to Turkey’s point of view.
Mare’ continues to be exposed to the storming of both the “Islamic State” organization and “Democratic Syria” forces, while some activists of the region believe that the battles that enabled the organization to reach the surrounding of the city, was only a result of the coordination between the two sides.