On Thursday morning, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) – backed by the National Defense Forces (NDF), Al-Ba’ath Brigades (Liwaa Al-Ba’ath) and Hezbollah (Party of God) – have countered the recent militant Islamic Front (Jabhat Al-Islamiyya) offensive in northeast Aleppo with multiple attacks of their own at Al-Manaasher, the Stone Quarries, and Al-Bureijj, as they seek to restore control over these areas north of the strategic Hanano District.
The SAA carried out an assault on the Islamic Front’s positions near the southern entrance to the Al-Bureijj Stone Quarries, resulting in the death of a number of Islamic Front militants and the destruction of 2 pick-up trucks mounted with 23mm machine guns. Among the dead were 2 men identified by the SAA as “Mahmoud Ibrahim Iskenderun” and “IsHaq Mounir Al-Moqdad” – both were from Al-Marre in northern Aleppo.
At Al-Manaasher, the Islamic Front success was clouded by a wave of SAA and NDF attacks that targeted the heart of their contingents in the East District; this assault generated significant militant casualties this late afternoon.
The Al-Nusra Front (Jabhat Al-Nusra) attempted to infiltrate into the predominately Shi’I villages of Al-Zahra and Nubl, renewing their offensive that was halted a few days ago after sustaining high casualties. The attack on Al-Zahra and Nubl today came from the east, where the Al-Nusra began firing gas canisters at civilian neighborhoods; this resulted in 9 civilians seeking medical attention for minor wounds.
The NDF and Hezbollah were able to repel the Al-Nusra Front attack on Al-Zahra and Nubl – they were able to secure the eastern corridor of the villages in order to obstruct any progress by the latter group in the Aleppo Governorate. According to a military source, at least 20 Al-Nusra Front fighters were killed as a result of this infiltration attempt.