On September 28, the Syrian army, the National Defense Forces (NDF), Hezbollah and Liwaa Al-Quds (a Paletsinian pro-government militia), supported by the Russian Aerospace Forces and the Syrian Arab Air Force, officially launched a full-scale military operation in order to liberate the militant-controlled eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo city.
Indeed, military operations of the Syrian government forces in Aleppo city started much earlier. On September 25, the army, the NDF and Hezbollah entered the Sheikh Sa’eed Neighborhood and advanced along the road leading to the Hajj roundabout in eastern Aleppo.
TIP: Some readers have aksed why the fuel depot is shown as a militant-controlled area. The answer is the loyalists withdrew from there during the ceasefire.
However, September 28 was the official start of the full-scale operation in the city. It started after five days of intense air and artillery strikes on militant targets in the besieged areas. Local sources also reported that Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra or al-Nusra Front) and its allies had almost now manpower reserves in eastern Aleppo.
The government forces started advance in the Old Quarter towards the Farafra Neighborhood and from the Aleppo Citadel area towards the Bab Al-Nayrab District. Hour after the start of the advance, the Syrian army and Hezbollah took control of the Farafra Neighborhood adn engaged militants in heavy clashes in the Bab Al-Nayrab District.
By September 28, the loyalists have fully secured the Farafira Neighborhood, the area northwest of the Aleppo Citadel and Osama Bin Zaid Mosque. The government forces have also advanced in the al-‘Amiriyah neighbourhood. However, there are no confirmed reports from the area. The army and Liwaa Al-Quds also attacked the Handarat refugee camp in northern Aleppo. The loyalists entered the camp after securing the Shaher area.
We recall some 8,000 fighters of various Iranian-backed militas had been deployed in the area of Aleppo city prior to the advance.
Amid clashes in Aleppo, Moscow confirmed that it will continue to support efforts of the Syrian government against terrorists despite the displeasure of the United States by these actions. In turn, Washington de-facto announced that some MANPADs may be supplied to the so-called “Syrian opposition” (Jabhat al-Nusra & co).