Kurdish forces recaptured the town of Ma’arnaz south of Afrin in the northern Aleppo countryside from Turkish-Backed militants in a successful counter-attack in the late hours of May 4.
The Afrin Liberation Forces (ALF), which is affiliated with the People’s Protection Units (YPG), announced in an official statement that 40 militants of the so called National Syrian Army (NSA) were killed in the course of the counter-attack. 30 others were reportedly injured.
“After sustaining heavy loses, the NSA withdrew from the axis of the attack to its back lines … A part withdrew to the town of Kafr Janneh, a part to A’zaz and a part to Marimeen,” the ALF’s statement reads.
The NSA took Kurdish forces by surprise in the afternoon of May 4 and sneaked into Ma’arnaz and nearby positions with support from Turkish special forces. Opposition sources said that the town was full of mines and improvised-explosive devices (IEDs), which played a major role in the NSA’s defeat.
Meanwhile, a source in the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) told the Lebanese al-Mayadeen TV that the army intervened to allow Turkish special forces to withdrew as a “gesture of goodwill” after the Russian mediation. According to the source, Turkish forces were trapped in one of Ma’arnaz’s minefields.
The SAA and few units of the Russian Military Police maintain presence in the city of Tell Rifaat, few kilometers south of Ma’arnaz. The city was shelled by the Turkish military and its proxies after the failure of their attack. However, no casualties were reported.
Turkish-backed militants may make a new attempt to capture Ma’arnaz and its surroundings soon. This would escalate tensions in northern Aleppo further.
- Turkish-Backed Militants Launch Surprise Military Operation In Northern Aleppo, Capture Key Town South Of Afrin (Photos)