Yesterday evening, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) fully secured the Bustan Al-Basha district after conducting a succesful 48-hour offensive in the northern Aleppo neighbourhood.
With fierce clashes still ongoing at the nearby Owaija district, SAA troops and Liwa al-Quds (Palestinian paramilitary) are yet to break through rebel defenses in this neighbourhood. Islamist rebels here are increasingly relying on booby traps, snipers and occasional suicide bombers to prevent rapid government advances.
Meanwhile, the leadership of Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham (formerly known as Jabhat Al-Nusra) said they would not evacuate the jihadist group’s fighters from Aleppo despite a desperate plea from the UN’s Staffan de Mistura to rid the city’s rebel-held districts of Al-Qaeda militants through diplomatic means.
In southern Aleppo, the SAA’s Republican Guard – backed by Hezbollah and Al-Baath battalions – was able to capture the Sheikh Sa’eed Hill this morning after launching two waves of attacks on the Sheikh Sa’eed district beginning at daybreak on Friday. Government forces now have fire control over the entire neighbourhood.
Effectively, with the SAA advancing through rebel-held districts from two flanks in Aleppo, it seems only a matter of time before the entire city falls into government hands.
A zoomable version of the Aleppo map is available here.