The Syrian Republican Guard and Liwa al-Quds (a Palestinian pro-government militia) launched a fresh offensive against Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) and Faylaq Al-Sham in the western countryside of Aleppo.
The offensive was launched on Hahat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and Faylaq Al-Sham positions near the al-Zahra’a area and followed reports about a major build up of government forces in western Aleppo.
Both sides reports that an intense fighting is now ongoing in the al-Zahra’a area.
Liwa al-Quds’ twitter account announces the offensive west of Aleppo:
بدء عملية عسكرية واسعة غرب مدينة حلب للجيش العربي السوري وفدائية لواء القدس ضد مواقع العصابات الارهابية .
— لواء القدس (@alqudsbrigade11) April 10, 2017
Faylaq Al-Sham reported that its fighters had destroyed a BMP vehicle belonging to government forces.
Right now it’s unclear how much forces the Republican Guard and Liwa al-Quds have deployed for this operation. However, the developments in western Aleppo came amid a de-facto stop of the government advance on the Jirah Airbase in the eastern part of the Aleppo province and heavy clashes in northern Hama.
Liwa al-Quds is a powerful pro-government faction. However, its manpower will not be enough for any deep push into the militant-held area in the western Aleppo countryside. Thus, the government attack in the area will likely be limited with the goal to secure al-Zahra’a and the nearby military research center.