The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) – in cooperation with the National Defense Forces (NDF) and Kata’eb Al-Ba’ath (Ba’ath Battalions) – has countered the rebel offensive at Handarat, launching a counter-attack on the southern sector of the village, while the Syrian Arab Air Force (SAAF) targets insurgent positions to the south.
According to a military source in Aleppo, the SAA and their allies were able to puncture the Jabhat Al-Nusra and Jaysh Al-Mujahiddeen defenses at the southern sector of the village, killing at least 30 enemy combatants before declaring control of two buildings adjacent to the residential neighborhoods.
Southeast of Handarat, the militants from Jaysh Al-Mujahideen, Jabhat Al-Nusra, and Harakat ‘Ahrar Al-Sham attempted to infiltrate the NDF’s positions at Tal Al-Madafa; however, they were unable to achieve any significant progress due to the persistent aerial bombardments from the (SAAF) and fierce resistance from NDF on the hill.
For the 2nd straight week in a row, Jabhat Al-Nusra has attempted to break-through the SAA and NDF’s frontline defenses at Bashkoy in northern Aleppo, and on numerous occasions, they were unsuccessful and eventually driven back; this was the case on Thursday.
A large Jabhat Al-Nusra contingent stormed Bashkoy from nearby Rityan, where they attempted to breach the SAA’s defenses, only to be deterred by a determined enemy at the gates of this northern Aleppo village.
Jabhat Al-Nusra suffered significant casualties during the battle for Bashkoy on Thursday, including the loss of a field commander that was identified as “Abu Al-Mansaf” – a source added that 11 enemy combatants were captured during the firefights as well.