The Syrian Armed Forces have cleared Al-Rashadiyah for the second time in two weeks after militants from the Syrian Al-Qaeda group “Jabhat Al-Nusra” attempted to recapture this town in order to obstruct the Syrian Government’s main supply route on the Khanasser Highway to Aleppo City.
Jabhat Al-Nusra and their allies from Jaysh Al-Mujahiddeen launched an assault at Al-Rashadiyah on Tuesday, capturing half of the town from the National Defense Forces (NDF) a day later; this required the Syrian Armed Forces – specifically, the Syrian Arab Army – to lead a counter-offensive to retake the lost territory on Saturday.
The Syrian Arab Air Force (SAAF) led the charge, as they bombarded the southwestern sector of the town where Jabhat Al-Nusra and Jaysh Al-Mujahiddeen were entrenched in empty apartment complexes.
This fierce bombardment from the SAAF was followed by a barrage of mortar shells fired by the SAA and NDF towards the militant positions in the southwest, leading to the powerful assault by the joint government forces inside the town.
According to a military source, 33 militants from Jabhat Al-Nusra and Jaysh Al-Mujahiddeen were reportedly killed (many from the SAAF attack); meanwhile, the SAA and NDF suffered 9 soldiers killed-in-action (KIA) and another 4 wounded-in-action (WIA).
The objective of this operation for both sides is to control the Khanasser Highway; this is one of the reasons for the increased rebel attacks near the Aleppo International Airport and southeastern towns inside this northern province of Syria.