BEIRUT, LEBANON (9:38 P.M.) – Moments ago, the Syrian Arab Army’s (SAA) 30th Division, led by the elite Republican Guards (which represents the striking core of the Aleppo-based formation), launched a surprise offensive against the last remaining ISIS bastion in Aleppo Governonate that is represented by a belt of fortified villages buried in a mountainous semi-desert landscape to the northeast of the strategic town of Khanasser.
So far the SAA has managed to liberate 2 villages from ISIS. These settlements are Al-Sharimah and Al-Atshanah. In addition to this, two key hilltops have also been captured by the SAA. Some reports say that the village of Rasm Askr was also liberated, however, there is confusion over whether or not the settlement was already under pro-government control prior to the offensive.
In any case, this advance comes as the SAA has been trying to force ISIS to retreat from the Khanasser region whilst also leaving a safe route for terrorists to escape south across the Ethriyah-Raqqa highway. Whether ISIS has totally withdrawn from the area or not is now total irrelevant, for either by way of death in battle or retreat, ISIS has been marked for banishment from the province of Aleppo.