The Syrian Arab Army’s 4th Mechanized Division and Hezbollah began their long journey to Aleppo Governorate from the Syrian resort-city of Al-Zabadani in early September, marking the first time that the Lebanese Resistance has committed such a large force to a front so far away from the Lebanese border.
However, Hezbollah’s participation in the southern Aleppo offensive has played a pivotal role in the pro-government forces’ success as they have led the charge on the Islamist rebel defenses, killing several enemy combatants and capturing several villages in the process.
Over the last 72 hours, the Syrian Arab Army’s 4th Mechanized Division – in coordination with Hezbollah, the National Defense Forces (NDF) of Aleppo City, the Al-Ba’ath Battalions, Harakat Al-Nujaba (Iraqi paramilitary), Kataeb Hezbollah (Iraqi paramilitary), and Firqa Fatayyemoun (Iranian/Afghani paramilitary) – have captured the strategic towns of Al-Hadher and Tal Al-‘Eiss, paving the way for their forces to approach the Damascus-Aleppo Highway from the eastern flank.
As a result of their successful operations these last three days, the Syrian Armed Forces and their allies have captured approximately 408 square kilometers of territory in southern Aleppo; this marks the largest series of gains for the pro-government forces since their first offensive at the Qalamoun Mountains in late 2013.
The Syrian Armed Forces and their allies are now approaching the northeastern countryside of the Idlib Governorate – an area they have not seen since the Islamist rebel offensive in the summer of 2012.
Much fighting is left to go before the Syrian Armed Forces can declare this offensive “successful”; however, the 408km of territory captured has left many optimistic about the future of these military operations in southern Aleppo.