On Thursday, October 5th, as a part of the third phase of their military operations in northern Aleppo, the Euphrates Shield made huge gains against Daesh, capturing the town of Akhtarin during an offensive which was backed by both, Turkey and the Coalition. The liberation of Akhtarin means that the factions are now on the verge to cut off the Daesh’ supply-line of the city of Al-Bab. They have also advanced and reached the vicinity of Sawran and Dabiq in the eastern countryside of Aleppo, where severe clashes are expected to start soon.
One of the commanders of the Euphrates Shield indicated to Aleppo 24 that after Daesh retreated from Akhtarin, it is now mobilizing its forces in both, Sawran and Dabiq, stating that the local factions would face aggressive resistance in these two villages from the organization.
In the meanwhile, the local factions are attempting to cut off Daesh’ supply-routes leading to Al-Bab city and attempting to lay a siege to both, Dabiq and Sawran, which would force Daesh to retreat from there.
The source indicated that Daesh utilized landmines, mainly the laser ones, to establish minefields in an attempt to prevent the factions from advancing to the remaining positions in Sawran and Dabiq which are still under its control. The Organization has also used multiple VBIEDs during the ongoing clashes in northern Aleppo. The source added that most of the Daesh fighters who executed suicide attacks against the local factions in the region were children, adding that the Euphrates Shield has captured a 12-years-old child who was fighting in the ranks of Daesh in the village of Akhtarin.
Following the capture of Akhtarin and as clashes have approached the area of Dabiq, the scenarios of the upcoming battle in northern Aleppo will be open to all possibilities. For example, the Euphrates Shield might resort to siege warfare to cut off the roads linking Al-Bab to Dabiq, and they may also launch a frontal attack on Dabiq while at the same time leaving the routes open for Daesh fighters to retreat from the village. However, it is expected that the factions might attack Daesh on multiple frontlines in the area, in synchronizations with launching a surprising attack on Dabiq to pressure the organization so that it would not concentrate its forces in one specific area.