The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) launched on January 25 a large-scale ground offensive in the vicinity of the northern city of Aleppo.
The army’s elite 4th Division is reportedly leading the offensive, that’s aimed at securing Aleppo’s city center. Hundreds of rocket attacks targeted the city over the last year, claiming the lives of dozens of civilians.
Military sources said the offensive is focused on the districts of al-Layramoun and Mount Shuayhina, which are located in the northwestern outskirt of Aleppo city.
Heavy clashes are being reported in the area, which is also being targeted by Syrian and Russian warplanes. However, no change in territory has been reported, so far.
In a message to the UN Secretary-General and President of the Security Council, Syria’s Foreign Ministry said that the new offensive in Aleppo and the operation in Idlib are a response to the “systematic crimes” of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and its allies.
“The precise and well-studied military operations carried out by the Syrian Arab Army and its allies in Aleppo and Idlib come after the appeals from the Syrian citizens in these two governorates, and in response to the systematic crimes committed by the armed terrorist groups,” the letter reads.
The SAA resumed its large-scale operation in southeast Idlib a day earlier. The army captured several towns, villages and hilltops in the region.
The simultaneous operations in Idlib and Aleppo increase pressure on HTS and its allies. If government forces have enough means and measures to develop both the offensives, Idlib militants will have signifiant problems with repelling them.