On February 1 morning, the so-called Syrian National Army (SNA) launched a large attack from Turkish-occupied areas in northern Aleppo.
The surprise attack targeted the towns of Kharabishah, Tell Rahhal and the Sha’alah RADAR Base. Within a few hours, the three areas were captured by Turkish a few hours.
SNA sources said the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) lost equipment and personnel as a result of the attack. Furthermore, the sources alleged that a position of the Russian Military Police was overrun by Turkish-backed militants.
The militants’ victory, however, didn’t last for long. The SAA backed by units of the Kurdish Afrin Liberation Forces (ALF) launched a counter-attack in the noon, recapturing all lost positions from the SNA.
Sources affiliated with the ALF claimed that four Turkish-backed militants were killed and six others were injured in the counter-attack.
The SAA responded to the attack by shelling SNA positions in the Turkish-occupied city of al-Bab and in the towns of Dana and Wiqah. Russian and Syrian warplanes also flew over al-Bab. However, no airstrikes were reported.
The SNA’s surprise attack is a major violation of the Russian-Turkish de-escalation agreement in northern Aleppo. This violation opens the possibility for the SAA to resume operations in the region, which has been calm since 2017.