Over the last 48 hours, the main highway leading to the Bab Al-Hawa border-crossing into the Turkish city of Reyhanli (Hatay Province of western Turkey) has been closed off as a result of the Russian Air Force’s strategic bombing campaign in the Aleppo Governorate’s western countryside.
The Russian airstrikes have been concentrated on the Reyhanli-Aleppo Highway, which is the primary supply route for the Islamist rebels of Jabhat Al-Nusra (Syrian Al-Qaeda group), Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham (largest Islamist group), Harakat Nouriddeen Al-Zinki, and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) to western and southern Aleppo.
On Friday morning, the Russian Air Force struck an Islamist rebel convoy on the way to southwestern Aleppo in order to reinforce their fighters combating the Syrian Arab Army’s 4th Mechanized Division, Hezbollah, the National Defense Forces (NDF), and Harakat Al-Nujaba (Iraqi paramilitary) near the M-5 Highway (Aleppo-Damascus Highway).
As a result of these targeted airstrikes by the Russian Air Force, the Islamist rebels have been unable to resupply their combatants near the Idlib-Aleppo border.
If the Islamist rebels are unable to utilize this highway, they will ultimately be without a primary supply to combat the Syrian Government forces in southwest Aleppo.
The Syrian Armed Forces have yet to begin phase 3 of the southern Aleppo offensive; however, with these airstrikes obstructing the rebel supply route, this assault could begin in the coming days.