Southern Aleppo has become the scene of intense firefights between the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the Syrian Al-Qaeda group “Jabhat Al-Nusra” over the last seven days, as both parties strive to control the Khanasser-Aleppo Highway that provides access to the Hama Governorate.
On Tuesday morning, Jabhat Al-Nusra – in coordination with Jaysh Al-Mujahiddeen and Harakat ‘Ahrar Al-Sham – attacked the southwestern axis of Al-Rashadiyah in southern Aleppo after losing this town to the SAA and National Defense Forces (NDF) last week.
Initially, the Islamists successfully infiltrated the NDF’s southwestern flank; however, they were forced to withdraw their attack after sustaining significant casualties due to the arrival of reinforcements from Liwaa Al-Quds (pro-Government Palestinian group); this was amalgamated with the persistent aerial bombardments from the Syrian Arab Air Force (SAAF).
A contingent from Jabhat Al-Nusra captured the village of Jib ‘Awad and the Al-Sheikh Muhammad Hill in southern Aleppo this morning; however, the NDF was able to recapture this area from the militants in the late afternoon on Tuesday.
Fierce clashes broke-out at the Salahiddeen Quarter of southern Aleppo City after Harakat ‘Ahrar Al-Sham militants stormed the SAA’s fortifications and seized a number of building blocks in the southern sector.
The SAA countered the Islamist infiltration with a powerful assault that led to the death of 16 enemy combatants from Harakat ‘Ahrar Al-Sham before they were able to recapture the recently seized territory in the Salahiddeen Quarter of Aleppo City.
Sources inside Aleppo City have repeatedly denied any reports about the alleged Islamist capture of the Deir Wataan Church in the Bustan Al-Basha Quarter – they added that this was all fabricated by Islamist social media activists.
Jabhat Al-Nusra and their allies from Jaysh Al-Mujahiddeen attacked the western axis of Bashkoy in northern Aleppo on Tuesday, but their attack was repelled by the NDF and Al-Ba’ath Battalion fighters entrenched inside this village.