On Wednesday morning in the Aleppo Governorate’s western countryside, the Syrian Al-Qaeda group “Jabhat Al-Nusra – in coordination with Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham, Jund Al-Aqsa (Al-Qaeda affiliate), and Jaysh Al-Mujahiddeen – launched a powerful assault on the Al-Zahra Association Quarter, targeting the Syrian Arab Army’s (SAA) frontline defenses near the Great Prophet Mosque and the Air Force Intelligence (AFI) building.
The assault began when the Al-Qaeda affiliates stormed the Great Prophet Mosque’s western perimeter, where they were confronted by a joint force comprised of Syrian Arab Army soldiers and the pro-government Palestinian militia “Liwaa Al-Quds” (Jerusalem Brigades).
Following a series of intense firefights with the Syrian Armed Forces, the Islamist rebels temporarily captured the Great Prophet Mosque; however, they were unable to advance towards the Air Force Intelligence building after the Russian Air Force’s SU-25 fighter jets bombarded their fighters along the street leading to the aforementioned part of the Al-Zahra Association Quarter.
While attempting to evade the Russian airstrikes, the Islamist rebels found themselves under attack by the Syrian Armed Forces, who launched their own counter-assault to recapture the territory around the western sector of the Al-Zahra Association Quarter that was lost to Jabhat Al-Nusra and their allies.
Meanwhile, in northern Aleppo, Jaysh Al-Mujahiddeen and Jabhat Al-Nusra conducted a large-scale assault on the town of Bashkoy, where they were once again confronted by a large pro-government force at the western flank; unfortunately, for the Islamist rebels, they were unable to advance into the Al-Afghani Farms, which subsequently led to their retreat to the nearby village of Rityan.
According to a military source in Aleppo City, the Islamist rebels lost over 60 combatants in their failed bid to capture the Al-Zahra Association Quarter and the northern Aleppo town of Bashkoy.