Since yesterday, Tuesday October 11, fighting has intensified in different areas of the Olive Branches and Euphrates Shield region, north of Aleppo, in Syria after the assassination of activist Mohamed Abu Ghannum and the military intervention by Abu Mohamed Al-Jolani’s men against factions of the national army.
Jolani’s organization, HTS, launched several offensives in the south and southeast of Afrin, passing through the border posts of al-Ghazawiya and Deer Ballout, in support of the Al-Hamzat Division and the group of Soulayman Shah, which are accused of organizing the murder of activist Mohamed Abu Ghannum and his pregnant wife this past Friday. HTS managed to progress to the village of Al-Bassouta, which is 10km south of the city of Afrin. At least 9 villages have come under the control of HTS in the Olive Branch area. The factions of the national army have launched a counter offensive in the village of Qarzehil. In the southeast of Afrin, HTS is trying to advance on the axis of the city of Janderes, but Jolani’s men are facing fierce resistance from factions of the national army. The city of Janderes is currently under the control of Feylaq Al-Sham rebels, who position themselves as “neutral” in these conflicts. On the other hand, Ahrar al-Sham, under the leadership of Hassan Soufan, supports HTS on the axis of Janderes.
So far, the fighting has caused the death of dozens of HTS and National Army fighters, as well as the death of a woman in the village of Burj Abdalo and a child in the refugee camp of Kuwait al-Rahma, in the countryside of Afrin who were killed during the HTS attack.
Although the fighting continues, activists call for the general mobilization of the rebel factions and the revolt of the inhabitants of Idlib against HTS.