It has been a rough month for the Islamist rebels from the Free Syrian Army (FSA), Harakat Nour Al-Deen Al-Zinki, Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham, Liwaa Suqour Al-Sham, and the Syrian Al-Qaeda group “Jabhat Al-Nusra”, as they have reportedly lost over 45km of territory inside the Aleppo Governorate’s southern countryside to the Syrian Armed Forces and Lebanese Resistance in the last two weeks.
However, the Islamist rebel fighters from Harakat Nour Al-Deen Al-Zinki, Jabhat Al-Nusra, Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham, and Liwaa Suqour Al-Sham have now countered the Syrian Arab Army’s large-scale offensive in southern Aleppo with an assault of their own that is geared to recapture the several villages and hilltops lost over the course of two weeks to the pro-government forces.
According to social media activists from the Syrian Opposition, the Islamist rebel forces captured the Aleppo Cement Factory, Al-Halisah Farms, and a number of hilltops near the strategic city of Khan Touman, as they attempt to recover their lost territory.
Following their ground assault, Harakat Nour Al-Deen Al-Zinki, Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham, Jabhat Al-Nusra, and Liwaa Suqour Al-Sham were surprised by several airstrikes from the Russian Air Force’s SU-24 fighter jets; this resulted in the Islamist rebel forces retreating to safe quarters.
The extent of this counter-offensive from the Islamist rebels is still unknown; this could just be an attempt to recover a few villages or this could turn into a large-scale counter-assault to push back towards the imperative Khanasser-Aleppo Highway.