Today morning, the Jaish al-Fatah militant coalition, led by Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian Al-Qaeda branch), launched a massive assault on the Syrian government forces in Aleppo city in order to lift the siege from militant-controlled areas of the city.
The joint militant forces involved into the operation consists of Jabhat Fatahl al-Sham, Ahrar al-Sham, Harakat Nour al-Din al-Zenki, the Islamic Front and a number of less known militant groups and units. In total, over 20 militant groups are involved.
The joint militant forces used at least 4 Suicide Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Devices (SVBIEDs) to break the government forces’ defenses. By evening, the miltant media outlets have claimed the ‘liberation from regime’ of the 1070 Apartment project and the Al-Assad Neighborhood in western Aleppo.
Pro-government sources denied the both claims and the Russian military even claimed that the attack had been repelled. Furthermore, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin declined the general staff’s request to renew air strikes on militants outside Aleppo city. The Russian Aerospace Forces don’t provide air support to the Syrian army and its allies during the recent clashes, officially. (No official and really detalied explanation of this decision is aviable)
Excluding PR statements and the war propaganda, the real situation on the ground looks like:
- The joint militant forces entered and almost seized the Al-Assad Neighborhood. This is the only really confirmed gain of the so-called ‘moderate rebels’. However, clashes are ongoing in the area with massive usage of artillery and warplanes.
- Jabhat Fatah al-Sham & Co also made advances inside the 1070 Apartment Project, seizing few building blocks. The statements that it’s under the full control of the area are described as false by local sources.
- The main defenses of pro-government forces are now in the 3000 Apartment Project, the Assad Military Academy and in the eastern part of the 1070 Apartment Project.
- Since the start of the advance, Jaish al-Fatah has lost up to 30 militants, 5 armored fighting vehicles, 2 infantry fighting vehicles, 8 ‘techicals’ with mounted weapons and 2 main battle tanks, according to pro-government sources.
- As SouthFront earlier predicted the government’s actions and the terrain features have not allowed the joint militant forces to achieve significant gains in the area (despite claims of some media that use clickbaiting headlines to attract the audience). If the Syrian military and its allies continue to keep the defense and counter massive usage of SVBIEDs by ‘moderates’, they will be able to win this battle.
A map of alleged plan of the militants’ offensive from the social media:
Strategically, even without the Russian Aerospace Forces, the Syrian army, Hezbolalh and other pro-government units have an advantage in the airpower and firepower. Their goal is to keep the united frontline and use this advantage, destroying the militant forces step by step.