The battle for Aleppo has taken a backseat to the recent Islamist offensive in the Idlib Governorate and the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham’s (ISIS) resurgence in east Syria after a five month hiatus; this all occurred while the provincial capital of Aleppo remained in a complete stalemate for all three parties involved, including the Syrian Armed Forces that were once on the offensive.
Well, for the first time in almost three months, the province of Aleppo was engulfed with fierce clashes between the Syrian Armed Forces, ISIS, and the Syrian Al-Qaeda group “Jabhat Al-Nusra,” along with their counterparts from Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham, Liwaa Al-Tawheed, Jund Al-Aqsa, and militias loyal to the Free Syrian Army (FSA) in order to stake their claim at the heart of the provincial capital.
On Sunday morning, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) – in coordination with the National Defense Forces (NDF), Liwaa Al-Quds (Jerusalem Brigades), and the Al-Ba’ath Battalion – launched a powerful assault on the militants from Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham at the Al-Ramouseh and Sheikh Sa’eed Districts in southern Aleppo, resulting in the death of over 25 enemy combatants and their subsequent control over the mountains at Sheikh Sa’eed.
In addition to their capture of Jabal Sheikh Sa’eed, the Syrian Armed Forces recaptured the Great Prophet Mosque on the outskirts of the Al-Zahra Association Quarter of western Aleppo after almost 24 hours of non-stop firefights between the latter and the militants from Jabhat Al-Nusra on Sunday.
To counter the Syrian Armed Forces’ success in Aleppo, the militants from Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham, Jund Al-Aqsa and Jabhat Al-Nusra stormed the villages of Bashkoy and Duwayr Al-Zeitoun in northern Aleppo, where they attempted to break-through their frontline defenses and take control of these strategic areas; however, the assault by the militant groups was repelled by the Syrian Armed Forces.
South of Baskhoy, Jabhat Al-Nusra fired a number of indiscriminate mortar shells and rockets at the southern part of the Al-Handarat village, wounding a four residents before they attempted to retake the town from the SAA – they were unsuccessful.
Fierce firefights erupted on the southern axis of the Al-‘Aziziyah District after enemy rockets struck local neighborhoods, forcing a retaliation by the SAA’s soldiers entrenched nearby.
At the Sheikh Najjar Industrial District in east Aleppo, ISIS resumed their assault on the astern outskirts of this area; however, for the fourth time this week, the SAA and NDF at this district were able to repel the swarming ISIS fighters and maintain full control over the 3rd Sector.
A large tunnel was unearthed at the Maysaloun Quarter of Aleppo City on Sunday morning, when members of the Syrian Armed Forces heard a large explosion from a nearby apartment building; this explosion was due to explosives detonated by armed militants, causing material damage to two buildings.
Perhaps the fiercest clashes in the city of Aleppo took place at the Al-Rashidiyah Quarter, where militants from Jabhat Al-Nusra attempted to infiltrate from the Sheikh Lufti District; but, despite this powerful assault, the armed combatants were unable to gain any ground in this area.