Free Syrian Army fighters spent today mopping up SDF areas along the northern edge of their control, securing the Meydankay Reservoir to the northeast and capturing several villages in the area. Pro-Turkey rebels are expanding their area of control west of Afrin as well, ensuring that a surprise SDF counterattack could not push them back from the city. Turkey’s military planning is now preventing most supplies from government areas from reaching either Afrin city or SDF forces to its north and east. This will force the SDF to make a decision: remain to harass enemy forces to stall the attack on Afrin city, make the dangerous retreat to Afrin city for a final stand, or leave the pocket completely through government territory. Though NDF forces have spread, the Syrian Army itself has so far not taken complete control of any more SDF territory north of Aleppo.
By Peter Bucci