The Al-Qaeda linked “Al-Nusra Front” (Jabhat Al-Nusra) attempted to infiltrate the defenses of the National Defense Forces (NDF) and Hezbollah (Party of God) at the predominately Shi’i villages of Al-Zahra and Nubl located in the Aleppo Governorate; however, their attack was repelled for the 2nd time in 48 hours by the loyalist forces.

Earlier today, the Al-Nusra Front once again launched an attack on the 3 axes of Nubl from the east, despite failing to hold their positions last night. The attacks by the Al-Nusra Front were met with heavy resistance from Hezbollah and NDF fighters, who quickly took advantage of the former’s exposed positions and halted their progress near the village of Al-Maayer.

The NDF and Hezbollah carried out joint counter-attacks on the Al-Nusra Front, killing scores of militants and capturing 2 more tanks before forcing the latter to withdraw from 2 of the axes again. A large number of Al-Nusra Front fighters were killed during this battle, including one of their field commanders from Jordan, “Abu Qadaameh Al-Shaami).

According to an NDF source in Nubl, over 30 militants were reportedly killed from the Al-Nusra Front – most were identified as foreigners. At least 6 of the dead Al-Nusra Front fighters were from Turkmenistan, Palestine, and Yemen; another 7 were from Saudi Arabia and Lebanon. Only 9 Syrians were among the Al-Nusra Front casualties; this list included “Jameel Ahmad Badawi”, “Abu Al-Sadeeq Al-Binnishi”, “Mohammad Debaan”, and “Farouq Halfaya”.

The NDF source further added that no part of the village of Nubl is under Al-Nusra Front control, nor is Al-Zahra – he asserted that all infiltrations were minor and that the NDF and Hezbollah control all axes and entrances.

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Editor-in-Chief Specializing in Near Eastern Affairs and Economics.

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