Moments ago, Jaysh al-Fateh (Army of Conquest) announced it had restarted its operations in western Aleppo and effectively begun the second phase of the offensive on Aleppo city.
Initially, two jihadist suicide bombers struck positions held by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in the western part of the New Aleppo district while Jaysh al-Fateh claimed its fighters were advancing on the ground.
Meanwhile, the SAA blew up an Islamist tank in the Dahiyat al-Assad district on Thursday morning, a military source informed Al-Masdar News.
A third suicide bomber – a jihadist volunteer from Saudi Arabia – also blew himself up today in the Minyan district:
The 1st phase of the Aleppo offensive began on October 28th and lasted some 48 hours – Islamist rebels managed to capture the majority of the Dahiyat al-Assad district and approximately half the Minyan district after some 20 suicide bombers spearheaded the advance.
In the following days, both government troops and Islamist rebels sent reinforcements to western Aleppo while the frontline itself was relatively calm.
The Jaish al-Fateh offensive aims to break the SAA’s defensive line and lift the siege on Islamist rebels in eastern Aleppo.
However, the SAA has deployed some of its most elite units to western Aleppo, including the Tiger Forces (assault troops), Desert Hawks Brigade (ambush troops), and Liwa al-Quds (Palestinian paramilitary) who are likely to conduct a major joint counter-offensive in the near future to establish a buffer-zone around the city.