Late on February 1, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) repelled al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) large-scale attack on the northern city of Aleppo.
The army held onto its positions in the district of al-Zahraa, the main target of the attack, after more than six hours of heavy clashes. HTS and its allies failed to capture any position in the district, that’s located in Aleppo’s northwestern entrance.
Hundreds of HTS’ elite militants participated in the offensive, which witnessed the use of three suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (SVBIEDs) against army troops.
Pro-government sources said that all SVBIEDs were destroyed before reaching their designated targets. These claims have not been verified, yet.
From its side, HTS claimed that the attack was a “large raid” in an attempt to whitewash its defeat. The terrorist group went as far as claiming that 70 Syrian and Russian service members were killed in the attack.
These claims were refuted by pro-government sources, which said that only 12 Syrian soldiers were killed in the attack.
HTS’ leader Abu Mohamad al-Julani was present along the frontline in northwest Aleppo to lead the attack in person. The terrorist appeared in a propaganda video released by the group’s news network, Iba’a.
The failure of the attack is a major blow to HTS and its leadership, especially al-Julani. The attack was likely nothing more than a propaganda stunt to amass public support for the terrorist, who has been leading Greater Idlib militants from a defeat to another for more than three years.
- Military Situation In Syria’s Western Aleppo Following Recent Clashes Between Army And Militants (Map Update)