BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:45 P.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army, alongisde Hezbollah and Harakat Al-Nujaba (Iraqi paramilitary), launched a surprise offensive in the Khanasser Plain of southeast Aleppo on Sunday, targeting the villages west of the government’s primary supply route to the province.
Led by the newly formed 30th Division of the Republican Guard, the Syrian Arab Army and their allies stormed Jabaht Fateh Al-Sham’s (formerly Al-Nusra Front) defenses at the AL-Hos Mountains; this resulted in an intense series of firefights that lasted for several hours on Sunday.
With their defenses quickly crumbling, Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham and their jihadist allies eventually withdrew from the Al-Hos Mountains in order to avoid being overrun by the swarming 30th Division and Hezbollah in the western part of the Khanasser Plain.
In response to this surprise offensive, the jihadist rebels heavily shelled the Al-Assad Academy in southwest Aleppo, killing one Syrian Arab Army colonel and 4 of his soldiers at this military installation.
This offensive launched by the 30th Division in southeast Aleppo on Sunday marks the first that this special forces unit has been used in battle.
The 30th Division was recently formed under the command Major General Malek Allia; they are considered one of the most sophisticated Republican Guard units involved in the battle for Aleppo.