Handarat Becomes the Focal Point for the Battle in Northern Aleppo
The Syrian Al-Qaeda group “Jabhat Al-Nusra” (Victory Front) launched an offensive on Sunday to recapture the towns of Bashkoy, Al-Malaah, and Handarat, with the intention to fight their way back to the Sheikh Najjar District to the east.
Jabhat Al-Nusra – in cooperation with Jaysh Al-Mujahiddeen and Harakat ‘Ahrar Al-Sham – stormed a number of points at the village of Handarat on Monday, attempting to break the National Defense Forces (NDF) frontline defenses from the south.
The militants were able to take control of Tal Arandis and a few buildings inside the village of Handarat; however, they were not able to progress any further, as the Syrian Arab Air Force (SAAF) raided the rebel positions in the south, allowing for the NDF to counter and destroy a BMP.
A military source in Aleppo informed Al-Masdar News that the NDF reported 13 of their men killed in battle, including ‘Ali Youssif ‘Issa, Rashwan Ziad and Mohannad Mahmoud ‘Aboud.
For Jabhat Al-Nusra and their allies, their casualties are believed to have exceeded well over 40 militants; among their dead were fighters from Uzbekistan, Chechnya, Kuwait, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Somalia.
The leader of Harakat ‘Ahrar Al-Sham “Abu Ja’afar Al-Ta’oum” was reportedly killed during clashes with Liwaa Al-Aqsa at Handarat Camp on Monday; he becomes the third rebel leader to be killed in northern Aleppo in 24 hours.
At Bashkoy, Jabhat Al-Nusra and Jaysh Al-Mujahiddeen attempted to break through the Syrian Arab Army’s (SAA) fortifications from the town of Rityan to the west; however, their attack was repelled after sustaining significant casualties.