06/10/2016, 09.12
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Daesh “Islamic Caliphate” splits. Kurds and Syrian army step up pressure

Fundamentalist militias continue to pour into Menbej ahead of a Syrian army attack. Communications between Raqqa, the north-east of Aleppo and the Turkish border, Daesh’s supply line for weapons, new recruits, money, oil and other contraband, under threat. US in support of rebels.

Damascus (AsiaNews) - For the first time since its founding, the territory of the "Caliphate" is likely to be split in two: the first part, the Syrian area west of the Euphrates; the second eastern Iraq, east of the river, made up of the "liberated territories". Now there is no communication between the two parts following the retreat by Daesh [Arabic acronym of the Islamic State] from the northern outskirts of Aleppo towards Menbej.

Local witnesses tell AsiaNews that for over a week there have been continuous transfers of Daesh fighters, along with weapons, ammunition and families, in what is more like a retreat than a deployment of troops. Such tactic withdrawal seems to be the only way to ensure the survival of militant groups and organize the defense of Menbej which, according to government sources, the Syrian army will attack in the coming hours.

Meanwhile in northern Syria, battles conducted by the Kurds have disrupted communications between Raqqa and the Turkish border: a vital crossing point for Daesh, for supplies of weapons and ammunition, new recruits and volunteers, for the transit of illegal funds and exports, along with oil and other goods, which are the main sources of the "Caliphate’s" wealth.

The only route between the north of Raqqa and Aleppo is the area around the city of the Tabaqqa. But even here Daesh was surprised and unprepared by the sudden attack by the Syrian regular army troops, who, after the liberation of the village of Kherbet Zaidan, is now only 20 km from Aleppo-Raqqa. Taking the highway, the Syrian army can cut the airport of Al Tabaqqa from all ground communication with Daesh, isolating the territories north and east of Aleppo, transforming them into secondary battlefronts, isolated and not very harmful.

The city of Menbej is now almost encircled. Hence Turkey’s fear, voiced through Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin, that the fall of Menbej "will intensify the ethnic unrest in the region."

A small group of local Turkmen - backed by Turkey and disappeared from the scene in the last few months – have reappeared on the scene echoing Turkish fears and defining the attack of Syrian Kurds to liberate Menbej an "occupation"!

Caught between the anvil of Syrian Kurds and the hammer of the Syrian regular army, Daesh has no choice but to withdraw, seeing broken their Caliphate into two separate territories. While our sources speak of a withdrawal of Daesh into the hinterland north-east of Aleppo towards Membej, Kurdish sources - the spokesman of the "Democratic Forces" Shirvan Darwish -  speak of Daesh fighters fleeing from Membej, which the Kurds are ready to invade at any moment, regardless of Turkey’s warnings.

Yesterday international organizations decided to resume the distribution of humanitarian aid to Maree, cities near the border with Turkey. Russians and Americans agree that it should not fall into the hands of Daesh. Meanwhile, last week, in the same area, the US Air Force launched weapons and ammunition supplies from the sky. In a short time, in the city, all of the rebel factions came together in one group. In the early morning hours of Thursday, June 8 they stated that they had all merged into one rebel group backed by the US, the "Liwa al Mutassam". (PB)

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