Lately, Islamist rebels of the Jaish al-Fatah coalition have retaken a lot of territory in southern Aleppo, thus overturning the Syrian Arab Army’s (SAA) ambitions of reaching an isolated government enclave in Idlib.
Starting on April 1, Jabhat al-Nusra and allied rebel groups seized the strategic high point of Al-Eis in a move some deemed a breach of the U.N. brokered Syrian ceasefire.
Little more than a month later, Jaish al-Fatah insurgents redeployed much of their armored vehicles for an offensive around Khan Touman, which was captured on May 5.
Meanwhile, a further 7 villages have also been lost by the SAA and its allies, some of which were taken in clashes over the past few days.
The southern Aleppo front is somewhat under-prioritized by the SAA’s Military High Command as it relies heavily on paramilitary groups to do the dirty work in fending off rebel fighters.
Recently, Hezbollah has redeployed much of its forces from the East Ghouta (Damascus) to southern Aleppo in an attempt check further Jaish al-Fatah gains.
For both sides, southern Aleppo represents an important buffer zone to areas held in Idlib and Aleppo respectively.
The next target of the ongoing Islamist offensive is presumably Hader, a large town near al-Eis which was captured during a large-scale government offensive in late 2015.