Aleppo erupted with violence yesterday, as the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) attacked a number of rebel installments and villages in the northeast part of the city; this abrupt offensive began after a large convoy of reinforcements arrived from the Hama Governorate.
The SAA – in cooperation with Hezbollah (Party of God), National Defense Forces (NDF), and Kata’eb Al-Ba’ath (Ba’ath Battalions) – captured several villages in northeast Aleppo on Tuesday, including Ratyan, Bashkawi, Hardatineen, Duwayr Al-Zeitoun, and Tal Nisbis.
As a result of their success in these villages, the SAA and their allies were able to reach the village of Al-Zahra and Nubl, entering them for the first time since their departure in late 2012.
To not be outdone, the Al-Qaeda linked “Al-Nusra Front” (Jabhat Al-Nusra) launched a counter-offensive at Ratyan and Al-Mallah in order to forestall the SAA’s ongoing assault.
The Al-Nusra Front was able to infiltrate back into Ratyan after fierce clashes with the SAA and members of the NDF; meanwhile to the south, they were able to control at least 75 percent of Al-Mallah, despite the volatility of the battle.
According to a military source, the SAA has repelled the attack on Ratyan and they are currently countering the Al-Nusra Front; however, this was not before the latter was able to take control of half the village.
South Ratyan, the SAA has successfully escorted all civilians from the villages of Hayyan and Bayanoun in preparation for their imminent siege in the coming hours.
The SAA and NDF carried out a powerful assault on the Al-Nusra Front at Kafr Touna, securing the village after a brief firefight with the latter east of Duwayr Al-Zeitoun.