On September 2, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) deployed several units and heavy weapons in the town of al-Zahraa in the northern Aleppo countryside, according to Syrian pro-government sources. Furthermore, the SAA notified the locals that they should evacuate from some areas inside and around the town.
A source in Aleppo’s branch of the National Defense Forces (NDF) told SouthFront that the SAA and its allies are reinforcing their positions around the city of Aleppo because they expect that the militants may attempt to attack the city in response to the upcoming SAA military operation in the governorate of Idlib.
During the last few weeks, several Syrian opposition activists, most of whom are supporters of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), threatened that HTS and the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) will launch an attack on Aleppo if the SAA attacks their last positions in Idlib.
The city of Aleppo was fully liberated by the SAA and its allies on December 22 of 2016 after a military operation that lasted for several months. Back then, a coalition of al-Qaeda and the FSA was defeated, despite receiving massive support from several regional and foreign powers.