According to information obtained by Al-Masdar News, hundreds of Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (Al-Qaeda affiliate) fighters arrived from Idlib to the western Aleppo countryside on Wednesday. Syrian reconnaissance units and drones have observed extensive Islamist military build-up in the region, causing government troops to stiffen their defences of the city.

Effectively, Jaysh al-Fateh (Army of Conquest/Islamist coalition) is expected to launch renewed attacks on the densely populated government-held suburbs of western Aleppo in the coming days in a last-ditch effort to relieve besieged insurgents in eastern Aleppo.

Meanwhile, the Russian Air Force will likely increase its sorties over western Aleppo in an attempt to disrupt the upcoming jihadist offensive and reduce its initial impact.

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One month ago, a two-pronged Jaysh al-Fateh offensive did gain initial ground but was eventually fully reversed by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) which has now turned its attention to insurgents inside Aleppo city itself.

Should the SAA take full control of the provincial capital of Aleppo, widely regarded as the pre-war industrial centre of Syria, government forces will in turn mobilize their forces for an offensive into the Jaysh al-Fateh heartland of Idlib province.

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Student currently living in Denmark. Special focus on news from Syria, MENA map-making and strategical military analysis.

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11 COMMENTS

  1. So these drones saw the build up but didn’t attack them? What are they then, Amazon drones?? I don’t see why the SAA/Russia neglect to put a few AC-130s in the sky and pulverise any build up of enemy troops, it should be that easy.

      • Is pretty interesting that Russians don’t pulverize terrorist when they start gathering. They lack AC-130 type of plane, and drones should be armed with guided missiles and not camera only. Is like you are trying to cure the flu, when you can prevent it.
        If SAA don’t prepare themself with defensive weapons (AT missiles, mines, snipers, observers,..), we will see again penetration of jihadist VBIED convoy.

        • This reinforcement has been delivered in green buses from west ghouta (to idlib) just recently. This war is so unusual for russians. And talking of assault drones, russian army, unlike nato, is defensive though had to start developing unmanned weaponry just recently. USSR was ahead of USA in such development. Yet in 1988 soviet space shuttle came to orbit and then perfectly landed w/o human on-board. American Alon Mask works on unmanned landing these days, with some success 🙂
          And btw, that shuttle was heavier than any american one. This is from wikipedia: “despite a lateral wind speed of 61.2 kilometres per hour (38.0 mph), it landed only 3 metres (9.8 ft) laterally and 10 metres (33 ft) longitudinally from the target mark.[6] Specifically, as Buran approached Baikonur Cosmodrome and started landing, spacecraft sensors detected the strong crosswind and “the robotic system sent the huge machine for another rectangular traffic pattern approach, successfully landing the spacecraft on a second try.”[7] It was the first space shuttle to perform an unmanned flight, including landing in fully automatic mode.”

    • Well, it’d be easy to get some 2nd hand An-26 (400k$) or An-12 (average 750k$) on civilian market and mount them with 2-3 GSh-30-6 gatlings, 2 57mm from ZU-57-2 and the 100m from an old T-55 for the An-12, add thermal sighting and ballistic calculator for each gun, maybe a SLAR radar and you’ve got a flying technical. Chinese proposed an Ac-130 like version of their An-12 copy, 0 were sold… Aeroprogress proposed some COIN aircrafts projects near the end of the Afghan war but things stopped and none was ever built, one was a kinda boosted OV-10 Bronco. IMHO, one of the most interesting possibilities would be a kinda Bronco with a belly turret and two Nexter 30 M791 (Rafale’s gun!) : each @2500 RPM => more rate of fire than the A-10 gun. add elongated barrel and liquid cooling, then 2000 30mm rounds in the cargo bay (around 1 ton). Consider 2-3 tons external payload with 8 hard points, consider 2 pods of 32 S-5 rockets with a LOGIR-like guiding system, 2 pods of 20 S-8 with same thing and 2 multiple racks with each one 18 or more 120mm XM95 GPS guided mortar shells. 2 points for eith 2*250 JDAM/LGB or Maverick or double Hellfire/SDB and 2 overwing points for Sidewinder/Mica or double Mistral/Stinger, Vne : 500-550km/h, 8-10h loitering time in eco-regime, EOTS 360°, ejector seats, ceramic armour enough to take 23mm hits, STOL and out-airfield capability, flying even on Diesel gas… Got 130 small planes like these and you got a 10k km² no drive zone 24/7 and they’ll be cheaper to buy/use than Mi-24 or Apache while being even more destructive than A-10… If made in Russia, cost may be around 5-7M$ per plane…

    • the problem with gunship type aircraft is they are very vulnerable to anti aircraft cannon and manpads, even the USA is very selective about where they use them. slow moving transports are big slow moving/turning aircraft that have to get relatively low for their own guns to be effective, well below the usual 10k feet safe zone, below that ur well within the range of light AAA like the zu-23 that there seems to be hundreds in the hands of everyone.

  2. Someone wants to perpetuate the war in Syria, I guest.
    There are enough Russian accumulated hardwares and power to wipe out all the terrorists and treats once and for all from Aleppo and any other place in Syria in question of few days. Russia is second world power after the United States. They have visuals of the whole Syrian territory and they know where they are all the bads guys and what they do in any moment.
    Nothing happens without they allowing it for some strange strategic reason or not, I’m afraid.
    And if I am not mistaken, it is only a matter of days before the bad boys counterattack in alepo and undo everything that the Syrian army and allies achieved with so much effort, to come back to the same endless story and dejá vue, again and again. What a so frustrating situation!