With immensely fierce clashes ongoing between the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and jihadist rebels in western Aleppo, the SAA was simultaneously able to capture 6 villages largely abandoned by ISIS in a rural region directly north of Aleppo city.
On Saturday evening, the SAA imposed full control over the villages of Fafin, Tall Sha’ir, Mahatah, Tall Susin, Kafr Qaris, and the town of Babinnis. Furthermore, Syrian government forces also captured the Muslamiyah Cement Factory and Aleppo Infantry College.
The attack was supported by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) who attacked ISIS’ northern flank, causing Islamic State militants to retreat from the area entirely.
These captured areas were considered impregnable for years but had been greatly reduced of Islamic State manpower in recent days, presumably as ISIS commanders redeployed their forces to defend Al-Bab.
In total, the SAA secured 14 square kilometers of territory in the matter of hours.
The advances were confirmed in a statement released by the Syrian Ministry of Defense.
Meanwhile, a delegation of SDF commanders met with high-ranking SAA officials at Kafr Saghir in order to discuss the upcoming border between the two parties, exchange information regarding ISIS movements in the province and discuss the situation in the isolated Kurdish-held Aleppo district of Sheikh Maqsoud.
The US-backed SDF and Russian-backed SAA are still on relatively good terms and have avoided clashing with one another, primarily due to both fighting common enemies, namely ISIS and Turkish-backed rebels.