KOBANI, Syrian Kurdistan (K24) - Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced on Wednesday, Feb. 10, that they now control the village of Mengh and its military airport, north of Aleppo, Syria.
Sharvan Darwish, an SDF senior military commander, told K24 on Wednesday, "After a violent battle against the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front and other terrorist groups, I officially confirm that Mengh military [air]base is under the control of our forces [SDF]."
Darwish added that on Tuesday, the Army of Revolutionaries and several Free Syrian Army (FSA) brigades, in collaboration with SDF, seized the village of Mengh after violent clashes with al-Nusra insurgents.
Army of Revolutionaries, or Jaysh al-Thuwar, is a coalition force allied with the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) fighting under the SDF umbrella.
Darwish further noted that controlling Mengh airbase could ultimately spell trouble for extremist militant groups in northern Aleppo. According to him, these groups will be forced to retreat towards their primary stronghold of Azaz near Turkey, roughly 30 kilometers (20 miles) northwest of Aleppo.
Darwish said that the strategic significance of seizing the airbase enables SDF to control the main road between Aleppo and the Turkish border previously controlled by al-Nusra Front for over two years.
Part of the wider battle to control Aleppo, Mengh airbase became a primary target for both government and opposition forces since 2012. The airbase was under siege by other opposition forces from August 2012 until it fell to al-Nusra Front on Aug. 6, 2013.
Reporting by Hisham Arafat
Editing by Benjamin Kweskin and Karzan Sulaivany