Over the past 24 hours, close to 50 rebel fighters of Jabhat al-Nusra and Jund al-Aqsa (al-Qaeda affiliates) have been killed in southern Aleppo while 16 pro-government troops have also been left dead due to events on the battlefield.
The majority of the death toll reportedly happened in and around al-Khalidiyah. This town was briefly captured by al-Qaeda forces but since recaptured by the Syrian Arab Army after a prolonged battle.
Several of the deceased al-Qaeda fighters died during suicide bombing missions that enabled the temporal captured of al-Khalidyah. However, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) was ruthless in its response, thereby taking no prisoners and pushing the al-Qaeda fighters back to their original positions on the southwestern outskirts of Aleppo city.
The counter-attack seems to have transpired with the help of Hezbollah and several other pro-government Persian paramilitary groups. Furthermore, Russian pilots pounded al-Qaeda attackers throughout the day and night, thus gradually driving them back.
While the combined death toll has already surpassed 100 for the past week on the southern Aleppo frontline, civilians have fortunately steered largely clear of the battlefield.
This is partially due to the SAA relying increasingly on pin-point Russian airstrikes rather than inaccurate barrel bombs, but also due to many civilians fleeing al-Qaeda controlled areas in generel.
While a ceasefire has been brokered by the United States and Russia on the 27th of February, this deal does not apply to al-Qaeda affiliates, Kurdish militias nor ISIS as none of the aforementioned parties were invited to the Geneva negotiations.
Thus, the Syrian ceasefire has increasingly (and arguably inevitably) fallen in tatters.
Currently, clashes continue on the outskirts of Zaytan and Birnah. Contrary to incorrect reports circling on social media stating the contrary, these towns are still in control of Syrian government troops. Meanwhile, the latter army is still attempting to recapture al-Eis although enjoying no success in their efforts yet.