Up to 1,000 Syrian army soldiers allegedly arrived Aleppo city to participate in the long –awaited offensive in the militant-controlled areas of eastern Aleppo and in the city’s southern countryside. Local sources describe this as a final preparation move before full-scale offensive on multiple fronts in Aleppo city that will be supported by the Syrian Arab Air Force and the Russian Aerospace Forces. A significant number of Iranian military advisers were also reported in the area.
The offensive is expected to be led by the Syrian army’s Tiger Forces, the Desert Hawks Brigade and Hezbollah. The government forces have already launched a preemptive shelling if the Aqrab area in western Aleppo.
On November 14, SF posted an “Oerview of Military Situation in Aleppo City“, releasing 4 possible scenarios of the long-awaited offensive of pro-government forces in the western Aleppo countryside. Chcking this plan, it becomes clear, that the Syrian army, Hezbollah and their allies decided to implement the Scenario 1:
Controlling the al-Assad Neighborhood and the Al-Batikh Hill (Tell al-Batikh), the army and its allies are able to strike Jabhat Fatah al-Sham in the area of Aqrab and to deploy in a striking distance from the al-Rashidin 4 area. If the government forces are able to achieve success in this direction, they will take contol of an important roundabout in western Aleppo and divide militants deployed in the city’s southwestern and northwestern countryside.
Meanwhile, militant factions in the eastern part of Aleppo city has announced formation of the “Aleppo Command Council”. It was allegedly created to unite all militant factinos in eastern Aleppo under the one command. Considering that all militant factions in eastern Aleppo are de-facto under the military command of Jaish al-Fatah (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian al-Qaeda branch), the announcement looks as a PR move to show that there is a ‘moderate opposition’ in Aleppo city.
Massive air strikes by the Russian Aerospace Forces and the Syrian Air Force were reported by pro-militant media outlets in the Aleppo-Idlib countryside. The warplanes paid special attention to the Saraqib-Khan Tuman supply line used by militants to deliver supplies and reinforcements to the area of Aleppo from Idlib province.