After their 3 day siege of the predominately Shia villages of Al-Zahra and Nubl, the Al-Nusra Front (Jabhat Al-Nusra) has withdrawn their forces from the southeastern front after suffering substantially high casualties. Initially, the Al-Nusra Front made significant progress in the south, breaching the National Defense Forces (NDF) and Hezbollah fortifications in this densely populated area; however, the lack of provisions and their exposure to heavy artillery led to heavy losses.
Many of the Al-Nusra Front fighters were in disarray once their field commander, Tariq Jama’a ‘Uthman, was killed during a counter-offensive in the southern part of Al-Zahra. According to a military source, Jabhat Al-Nusra and Jaysh Al-Mujahiddeen have suffered over 100 casualties in the last 3 days; these numbers led to latter’s departure from the battle on Sunday. Firefights are still ongoing in the eastern sector of Nubl, but Jabhat Al-Nusra has been unable to penetrate through the village’s defenses.
The Syrian Arab Army has captured the Sakan Al-Shababi District located between the Haydariyyah and Hanano Districts. The capture of this district has led to the SAA’s advance to northern Hanano and the entrance into Al-‘Aweeja. Adding to their success in the Aleppo Governorate, the SAA has advanced to the Balshouki District’s outskirts, where they have bombarded the Islamic Front’s (Jabhat Al-Islamiyya) positions near the northern plants.