The Syrian Al-Qaeda group “Jabhat Al-Nusra – in coordination with Jund Al-Aqsa and Harakat ‘Ahrar Al-Sham – launched a large scale offensive on the provincial capital of Idlib, attacking the city from three points, as the National Defense Forces (NDF) and the Syrian Arab Army’s 11th Tank Division fortified their positions in the Industrial and Farming districts.
In broad daylight, two suicide bombers from Jabhat Al-Nusra drove their vehicles into the eastern barricade of Idlib City, creating a pathway for their fighters to take control of the Sadkop Factory at the eastern outskirts of the Industrial District.
Jabhat Al-Nusra and ‘Ahrar Al-Sham did not stop there, they would advance to the Old Textile Factory before the 11th Tank Division arrived to reinforce the NDF and push back the enemy combatants to the east, securing the perimeter around the Idlib Public Cemetery.
At the northwestern entrance of Idlib, Jabhat Al-Nusra attacked a number of NDF checkpoints outside of the city, reaching the Youth Housing’s northern perimeter; however the success was short-lived, as the NDF recaptured a lost checkpoint late Tuesday night and regained control over the northern perimeter of the Youth Housing.
The Syrian Security Forces arrested at least 9 fighters from Jabhat Al-Nusra, including a prominent member that was identified as “Sheikh Saqr.” To contrast, Jabhat Al-Nusra took 5 NDF fighters prisoner – they have not been identified.
According to a military source, 44 militants from Harakat ‘Ahrar Al-Sham, Jund Al-Aqsa and Jabhat Al-Nusra were killed, while the SAA and NDF sustained 16 casualties (13 NDF and 3 SAA); among the dead enemy combatants, 17 were identified:
- Safi ‘Abdel-Hafiz
- Mohammad Watid
- Zayd Sarhan Al-‘Abeed
- Bara’a Al-Ghajjar
- Jama’at Ibrahim Shahoud
- Yousif Ja’abas
- Mou’taz Al-Sadiq
- Mohammad Ahmad ‘Assef
- Daham Al-Hassan
- Nayaf Sa’ad Al-Haajizi (Kuwaiti)
- Mohammad Tayseer Hallaq
- ‘Abdel-Kareem Ahmad Al-‘Uthman
- ‘Ali Mustafa ‘Attar
- Badr Al-Laheedan (Saudi)
- ‘Abdel-Rahman Hajj Moussa
- Mohammad Al-Sheikh
- Yamen ‘Abdel-Qader Sayid ‘Issa