Although a ceasefire has been announced moments ago for Aleppo, this truce does not seem to prevent a seemingly inevitable upcoming battle for the town of Khan Touman.
Four days ago, rebel fighters of Jabhat al-Nusra, Ahrar ash-Sham and the Turkistan Islamic Party seized Khan Touman after launching a surprise offensive in southern Aleppo.
While some 30 (pro-)government troops were killed during the initial battle for the town, many more rebels have since been killed as hundreds of airstrikes have struck Khan Touman since its capture.
Furthermore, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) now controls the vital high ground at the Quarries that overlook Khan Touman from its eastern flank.
In turn, SAA reconnaissance units can monitor insurgents and inform anti-tank crews, artillery units and the Syrian & Russian warplanes about insurgent movements inside the town and give specific coordinates for potential militant targets.
This has turned the entire area into a de facto killing zone as can be seen below:
Remarkably, the Khan Touman frontline was somewhat similar until December 2015 when government troops captured the town during a huge offensive in the Aleppo countryside.
Further south, Islamist insurgents meanwhile have the upper hand at nearby al-Eis due to their control of the adjacent al-Eis hill.
It has been said that al-Eis town is impossible to capture without controlling its vital hill top. In comparison, lack of high ground at Khan Touman makes the town highly difficult to defend.