In a bid to relieve the collapsing Al-Bab front, the Islamic State ordered hundreds of its fighters to attack the government-held road near Khanassir in southern Aleppo.

Beginning after dark on Tuesday, ISIS militants stormed the town of Um Mayyal and its surrounding checkpoints with armored vehicles and a significant number of combattants.

Initially, the offensive appeared somewhat succesful as ISIS took control of several checkpoints south of Um Mayyal and began attacking the town itself from two directions.

Unfortunately for the advancing ISIS units, their jihadist fighters were met by stiff resistance from a batch of seasoned Republican Guard soldiers stationed at Um Mayyal that had linked up with the regular troops whom had abandoned their initial positions.

As the hours continued into the night amid fierce skirmishes, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) finally went on the counter-attack and quickly routed ISIS from their newly captured positions, thus recovering all lost points.

With status quo eventually upheld on the battlefield, the warring parties did sustain significant casualties with approximately 20 troops either injured or killed on both sides.

Despite ISIS briefly severing the Aleppo supply route several times in the past years, the main road itself was never really in danger as the clashes occurred roughly 10 kilometers east of it.

According to an Al-Masdar News source, the vast majority of the Islamic State’s attacks occur during the night in order to reduce the impact of Russian airpower.

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Student currently living in Denmark. Special focus on news from Syria, MENA map-making and strategical military analysis.

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RomeSPQR
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RomeSPQR

Well,it ended well this time..but who knows about the next time?Thus once the objective is achieved around Al-Bab, the SAA units fighting there should focus on increasing the buffer zone around the Khanasser-aleppo route

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Stern Daler

Agreed. IMHO that is on its way already.

Floriangeyer
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Floriangeyer

The de facto encirclement of the 2500_4000 ISIS head choppers in in and around AlBab are facing stark choices. Fight to the death, surrender or escape. The only realistic escape route would be through the SAA or Kurdish areas.

Time will tell which which option they take.

The SAA and Kurds need to have plenty of ground attack airpower in place to send all those who flee to meet their Virgin Goats.

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Stern Daler

Choosing the weakest link. The only realistic escape route would be through Turkish lines to a less contested area then sneak towards Raqqa.

jojo
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jojo

“with approximately 20 troops either injured or killed on both sides”

It doesn’t appear the SAA is any more efficient than ISIS. How is the war ever going to end if the SAA can’t kill more ISIS than they themselves are killed?

wakethehellup
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wakethehellup

The article doesn’t specify the percentages for each side, so we don’t know which side suffer the greater casualties. What it did state though, was that the vaunted Republican guard troops, who were the real skilled and seasoned SAA forces in that battle, stepped in and routed the ISIS forces. Get it straight now and understand. Just like with U.S. and Russian military forces, the Syrian army regulars are mostly young, rudimentary trained and low experience troops. There is a reason why it’s called “Basic Training”.

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Stern Daler

@ jojo. By attrition. The side that can recruit in the population centers wins. Means SAA wins. The same effect as at the end of the Spanish civil war. p.s. The high government looses come most likely from the checkpoints. Less trained and equipped guard units attacked by IS storm troupers. They withdrew and were joined by folks with the right gear and training – and voila. You cannot do much about it. BTW. SAA is more efficient than IS – when “equal” echelons meat for battle.

Heinz Stalder
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Heinz Stalder

Stay allive Heros !

David
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David

The best thing in any warfare and strategy I even employ during any kind of war games. You don’t want to take the enemy head on, instead you want to nab key supply routes and resources, then isolate your enemy and siege him until this withers away, then strike from all sides and that’s how you take them out. Once the siege of Al-Bab is done, Syrian army should push towards Raqqa and cut a whole swath of ISIS territory southeast of Al-Bab and Deir Hafir, using Kurd allies smash through the whole area and capture ISIS supplies and soldiers… Read more »