Apparently, very soon the Syrian army will storm Mardes is an important city on the M5 highway linking Damascus and Aleppo. Yet controls it unique in its kind, the group “Jund al-Aqsa”. More recently, she possessed a huge amount of drones and enjoyed the location of the United States. Its defeat will allow you to learn about the war in Syria a lot.
After the expiration of the truce did not live up to its expectations, the Syrian government troops were forced to repel several attempted counter-attacks by various terrorist groups, primarily in the area of Aleppo. However, in the middle of the week the center of the fighting shifted to the province of Hama, but despite the geographical distance, the links of one chain.
“The city has become a symbol of the struggle of Christians for survival in a religious war”
On Monday the jihadist group “Jund al-Aqsa” (“Soldiers of al-Aqsa” – the name of the mosque in Jerusalem), for several years, controlling several villages North of Hama, attempted to expand their area of influence. To do this, she organized several attacks in the direction of the administrative center of the province and district military airfield based in large by local standards, the city Martese. “Jund al-Aqsa” for two years holding this strategic point on the highway M5 (Damascus – HOMS – Hama – Aleppo), making it difficult to supply as the Syrian troops and civilians in Aleppo.
In addition Magesa, “Jund al-Aqsa” in control of several villages near to the route and around it, including the village of mA’an and the surrounding city of Morek (Muhrak). The ideology of this group and the principles of war became widely known in February 2014, when jihadists stormed the village took Maan and there started the massacre of civilians, killing 25 of the local militia and 60 civilian, the vast majority women, children and the elderly. The fact that the population of mA’an, Alevis, believers Bashar al-Assad, a religious group that is subjected to terror by radical Islamists-Sunni.
Approximately the same situation and Morece – a predominantly Christian city, whose population before the war numbered about 15 thousand people. Morek several times passed from hand to hand in 2014 and 2015, but in one of the periods of “Jund al-Aqsa” controlled Morek about a year, turning the once thriving village, whose inhabitants mostly grew dates in the desert. The possession of Morecom was important not only from the point of view of control over the section of road M5, but psychologically – from the point of view of religious and political situation in Syria. The Christian community needed protection from jihadists, and the town became a symbol of the struggle of Christians for survival in the religious wars. Now Morek – the dead city.
Initially, the “Jund al-Aqsa” consisted entirely of “fighters for faith”, not Syrian origin, but was formed and funded from Saudi Arabia. Perhaps this was due to loyalty to this group from the US led coalition, which did not react to the atrocities in mA’an and Morece. Until now, English-language sources persistently underestimate the number of martyred in mA’an (according to American data, was murdered “only” 21 people, of whom “only half women and children).
By the beginning of 2015, the group suffered heavy losses and replenished by local Syrians Salafi persuasion, and by the autumn declared itself part of al-Qaeda” and even apologized for that repeatedly engage in fights with the ISIS. In February of this year, about 400 former members of “Jund al-Aqsa” went to the aid of “an-Nusra” and the group went on the offensive on Hanaser, now supporting the ISIS attack. Fighting for Hanaser lasted more than a week, the town passed from hand to hand, but in the end, with the support of the Russian aviation government forces and allies were able to fight off his back.
You need to understand that “Jund al-Aqsa is one of the most active groups cannibalistic direction, simply because of the relative scarcity and remoteness from the main area of fighting in Aleppo, she was not at the hearing. The United States declared it a terrorist organization just two days ago – 20 Sep. That is, after she went on the offensive on Hama, and two years after the massacre in mA’an.
Government troops repulsed the initial attack, Jund al-Aqsa, and then suddenly it turned out that in the battle of Hama in Alliance with jihadists active participation of the so-called Free Syrian army (FSA) – the main client of the Western coalition. That is the same “moderate opposition”, the Democrats and the liberals with carts. To separate the goats from the sheep in such a situation is not possible – before government troops task is not only to stop the attacks of the enemy, but to regain control of the M5.
Who is friends with whom and the war in Syria and Iraq that is, in fact, the current fighting North of Hama is not a local event, and the continuation of the battle for Aleppo, since we are talking about the supply of troops and the city on the main highway. It’s all the same struggle for the transport network in the framework of the doctrine of indirect effect, which has long been all the clashes in this region of Syria. The small number of jihadist groups and “moderate” (now, the forces of “Jund al-Aqsa” is unlikely to exceed a thousand people) allows them conduct major combat operations within the front, but such transactions immediately attracted attention, because a serious impact on the situation in the more important areas. And government troops, as a rule, do not have serious quantitative advantage, and reinforcements have to throw for 300-400 kilometers, which gives the enemy the advantage in the first couple of days of fighting, wherever there was another “pin prick”.
To withstand the day, government forces launched a counteroffensive directly at the city of Mardes hold “Jund al-Aqsa”. The first attack (as almost always in Syria in such cases), unfortunately, drowned – by Wednesday evening the Syrian army was forced to withdraw from the city limits Mardes. However, the government continued pressure on the village Kokab (Kobra) a few kilometers to the North-East and, more importantly, approached Tayibat al-Imam – much larger than Mardis, the village to the West of the M5. So by mid-Thursday, Mardas appeared in the semicircle of the environment, but “Jund al-Aqsa continues to provide strong resistance.
It is surprising but true that even American sources admit that the “Jund al-Aqsa” has long been in industrial quantities using drones, including for firing and not just for exploration. Where they take a small number and isolated from the main channels of supply of group – a mystery. These drones, according to some, not very advanced, but quite suitable for bombing.
By Thursday evening, government troops regrouped and began a frontal assault Mardes from the East and captured two pistachio farms to the city of al – Hasan and al-Abadeh. That is, at the moment created real preconditions for the assault virtually surrounded the city and regain control of the M5 highway. The seizure of the farms is the best position for the assault, of course, if the government forces again decides to wait a couple of days, as it often happened.
If now the “Jund al-Aqsa will be destroyed, and Mardis captured, with the supply of Aleppo on the main road can be solved in the shortest possible time. There is still the problem of Han-Mist, but it is resolved. In addition, the documentation of this group you will learn many interesting things, especially about the drones. How do they do to them here? And what is the real name of one of the leaders of the cannibals, who prefers to be called Abu Abdulaziz al-Katari? It is small, but the gas to the Gulf state and so many questions have accumulated.
* Organization in respect of which the court accepted entered into legal force decision on liquidation or ban the activities on the grounds stipulated by the Federal law “On countering extremist activity”