In a matter of two months, the Syrian Arab Army’s 4th Mechanized Division and Hezbollah – in coordination with their Iraqi and Iranian allies – have captured several hilltops, villages and towns in the Aleppo Governorate’s southern countryside, while also building a large buffer-zone around the provincial capital’s southern flank.
With the capture of 5 villages near Jabal Arba’een, the Syrian Arab Army’s 4th Mechanized Division and Hezbollah have secured the contested area surrounding the villages of Tal Dadeen, Kafr ‘Abid, and Hamidah; this has forced the Islamist rebels from Jabhat Al-Nusra (Syrian Al-Qaeda group), Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham, Harakat Nouriddeen Al-Zinki, and Liwaa Suqour Al-Sham to retreat south towards safer quarters.
Later in the day, the real assault in southern Aleppo began: Hezbollah – backed by the 4th Division’s brand new T-90 tanks – launched a massive assault on the strategic towns of Al-Zorba and Khan Touman, killing several enemy combatants from Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham and Jabhat Al-Nusra before they would advance to the northern flank.
As a result of this latest push, Hezbollah and the Syrian Arab Army’s 4th Mechanized Division are now situated at two different flanks (eastern and northern flanks), marking the advent of their besiegement of Khan Touman and Al-Zorba.
The Syrian Arab Army’s 4th Mechanized Division and Hezbollah are currently approaching zero hour for Al-Zorba and Khan Touman; if these towns are captured by the aforementioned pro-government forces, they will have effectively cutoff the main supply route from Idlib to Aleppo for the Islamist rebels.