The Syrian Al-Qaeda group “Jabhat Al-Nusra” – in cooperation with Jaysh Al-Mujahiddeen and Harakat ‘Ahrar Al-Sham – continued their counter-offensive in northern Aleppo, targeting the villages of Handarat and Bashkoy from the west; while a conglomerate of Levantine Front forces attack the Al-Zahra Association Quarter in conjunction with Jabhat Al-Nusra.
After entering the village of Handarat, the militant groups were able to take control of a number of buildings in the southeastern sector before a barrage of airstrikes from the Syrian Arab Air Force (SAAF) pounded their positions.
Despite claims of its capture by Jabhat Al-Nusra and their allies, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and National Defense Forces (NDF) control at least 80 percent of Handarat, including the village-center and the entire northern sector, where rebel social media activists claimed the militant groups were operating.
Meanwhile, east of Handarat village, the SAA and NDF are engaged in a fierce battle with the militants of Jabhat Al-Nusra and Harakat ‘Ahrar Al-Sham at the vast hill of Tal Madafa near Handarat Camp to the northwest – the hill remains contested.
On Tuesday, four field commanders from Jabhat Al-Nusra were killed during clashes with the SAA at Handarat; this list includes “Abu Jaraah Al-Falasteeni” (Palestinian)”, “Abu Faariq Al-Deeri”, “Abu Al-Haarith Al-Menbiji”, and “Abu ‘Aadel Doushka.”
The SAAF launched a total of 19 airstrikes on Tuesday, destroying a T-55 tank and as many as ten vehicles in the village of Handarat.
North of Handarat, the militants of Jabhat Al-Nusra were repelled by the NDF at the village of Bashkoy, where they attempted to infiltrate into from nearby Rityan to the west.