Over the past 24 hours, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has launched a major counter-offensive on ISIS fighters that have established themselves in a dozen villages that run along the highly supply line between Hama and Aleppo. Nevertheless, ISIS still controls some 7 miles of the road and temporarily entered areas firmly held by government forces since 2013.
Yesterday, Tiger Forces (elite SAA branch) and Hezbollah (Lebanese paramilitary) attacked ISIS from the north and have subsequently recaptured Rasm al-Nafl village while advancing to the outskirts of Shallalah al-Kabirah village. Furthermore, the Syrian Arab Army – primarily backed by the pro-government Liwaa Al-Quds Brigade – successfully entered Khanasser while clashes are ongoing inside this strategic town.
Last November, ISIS cut the very same Aleppo supply line further south, near Ithriya village, and briefly blocked goods and supplies from reaching Aleppo city. At the time, government troops were re-deployed from Hama province to the area and quickly regained control of the road. This time, reinforcements have been called upon from Aleppo province as the Tiger Forces have been brought in to deal with the task.
Sadly, with each day that passes, food prices are on the rise in Aleppo city as especially poor people find themselves suffering from gradual malnutrition due to an ongoing blockade, unemployment and non-stop clashes between government forces and Islamist fighters within Syria’s largest city. However, Tiger Forces rarely lose battles; just a week ago these very same elite government troops captured a huge area in eastern Aleppo.