Information available about the active and growing role of Jordan in the battles of Kasab and its surrounding territories suggested that Syria’s southern battlefront has been moved to the north, and referred to an air bridge that began to carry hundreds of “Mujahedin” from Marka airport in Amman to Antakya airport in the Iskenderun province in Turkey. According to the assertions of a Syrian opposition source, more than one thousand “jihadist fighters” were transported in the past three days to immediately join fierce battles taking place in the northern countryside of Latakia. The source stressed that the information was confirmed by “accurate Jordanian sources”.
The said “jihadists” belong to various nationalities, including Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Syria. The source added that “part of the airlifted militants had undergone extensive training in camps in the al-Rusaifa region north of Amman”. According to it, training and transport can never happen but only with the Jordanian intelligence service coordination and with direct American supervision, as an alternative step to opening a southern battlefront from the Jordanian territory, after promoting this for a long time. The alternative step, (which could have been the primary plan to begin with), could save Jordan from the burden of opening the front from its own territory, and this seems to be intolerable.
The “Mujahedin” coming from the camps of Jordan will join their counterparts in Turkey, (most of them are Chechens and have prior fighting experiences). They will be then organized into groups that enter successively across the Turkish border, in the form of uninterrupted reinforcements. This could explain the quick and successive changes in the battle scene, which have not yet led to an effective and stable control of strategic positions and areas. The map of control is continuously changing, and this happened several times in a number of locations, mainly the strategic “position 45”. It seems that the price of the Syrian army’s delay in effectively resolving the situation in the first 24 hours of the battle would be its continuation so as to turn it into an open front. This comes in addition to the continuing attempts of the “jihadists” who are trying to expand the geographical area of the battles, where the towns of al-Bardrousieh and Ras al-Basit have been engaged finally.
In light of these facts, it seems that the successive news about the arrival of reinforcements to the “jihadists” from Idlib is just attempts to spread false information concerning the source and nature of the human reinforcements. This is supported by a “jihadists” source who told Al-Akhbar that “many of the jihadi brothers from various nationalities had been mobilized to support our mujahedin in the battle of Anfal. It was their first blessed battle on the Syrian territory”.
Regarding the militants’ movement on the ground, the source emphasized that “Qastal Maaf and al-Badrousieh battlefronts are currently the most important ones to preserve the gains that have been achieved. The first is the real route to Kasab and the second is the only way to reach al-Samra and Tashalma”. This “requires the jihadists to continue to shell the rear lines with Grad missiles in order to halt the flow of the Nusayri reinforcements that are on their way”. The moves of the “jihadis” seem to be drawn according to actual tactical plans, which primary aim at gaining simultaneous control of strategic peaks and some coastal points.
On the ground, the battles continued in the vicinity of position 45 and led to killing “the military commander of the Sham al-Islam movement”, the Egyptian citizen Ahmed Mazyan known as “Abu Safiyyah Al-Masry”. On Thursday night, fighters repeated their attempts to regain control over strategic positions and battles took place in Jabal al-Nisr, al-Sawda, Bayt al-Shorouk, and al-Khodra.
In a related development, the “Nusra Front” and the “Islamic Front” announced the start of the “Sada al-Anfal” battle and its first-fruits would be to “liberate the rest of the Khan Shaikhoun” in the southern countryside of Idlib. A “jihadi” source said that “this battle is part of al-Anfal blessed battles and that it will keep on until we meet our brothers in Latakia. The spoils of war belong to Allah and His Messenger, and their echoes reach to those who have sincere intention explicitly and secretly”. However, a Syrian military source confirmed to Al-Akhbar that “the Syrian army blocked the attempts of the terrorists in Khan Shaikhoun, and that there are no victories achieved by them but only in their illusions”.
Translated by: Maysa Hazimeh
By: Suhaib Angerini/Al-Akhbar Newspaper