The battle for southern Aleppo has become the bloodiest fight taking place around all of Syria, as Syrian Arab Army’s 4th Mechanized Division – in coordination with Hezbollah, the National Defense Forces (NDF) of Aleppo City and several Iraqi paramilitary units – attempt to advance inside the Islamist rebel stronghold of Al-Hadher.
On Friday morning, the Syrian Army’s 4th Mechanized Division and their allies launched several attacks inside the strategic town of Al-Hadher, where they were confronted by a large force comprised of militants from the Free Syrian Army (FSA), the Syrian Al-Qaeda group “Jabhat Al-Nusra”, Harakat Nouriddeen Al-Zinki, Liwaa Suqour Al-Sham, and Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham.
For nearly six hours, the Syrian Armed Forces and their allies were engaged in a fierce battle with the Islamist rebels; however, the firefights began to dissipate when the Russian and Syrian Air Forces emerged to bombard Jabhat Al-Nusra and Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham’s defensive positions inside of Al-Hadher.
While the battle intensifies in Al-Hadher, the Islamist rebels of Jabhat Al-Nusra, Harakat Nouriddeen Al-Zinki, and Liwaa Suqour Al-Sham conducted their own counter-assault near the imperative town of Khan Touman, resulting in the capture of two small hilltops at the southern countryside of Al-Qarassi; this aforementioned town is located east of Khan Touman.
In conjunction with the large number of battles taking place in southern Aleppo, there has also been a high number of casualties for both side; this was confirmed by a military source operating inside the Syrian government stronghold of Al-Safira in southeastern Aleppo.
According to this military source, the Syrian Armed Forces have suffered 51 casualties in southern Aleppo this week, while their Iranian allies have lost a total of 14 soldiers – he was unable to confirm the death toll for the Iraqi paramilitary units and the enemy combatants; however, he added that the number of enemy combatants killed is likely just as high or even higher than the reported numbers for the Syrian Armed Forces.