The battle for Aleppo has become a bloody endeavor for both the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the Al-Nusra Front (Al-Qaeda offshoot), as the opposing forces exchanged blows in the northeastern section of the provincial capital.
In Ratyan, the Al-Nusra Front militias were able to retake most of the village after launching a large counter-attack on Wednesday morning.
According to a military source, the Al-Nusra Front received a massive band of reinforcements from Turkey that succored their embattled fighters to reclaim almost all of Ratyan, following a very violent confrontation with members of the National Defense Forces (NDF).
The Al-Nusra Front now controls 80 percent of the village, with the NDF holding tight to their positions in the northwestern sector of Ratyan. The militants were also able to capture almost 40 members of the NDF during a battle near the western farms of the village.
Syrian media sources reported that much of the counter-assault on Ratyan was planned by the Turkish Army, who equipped the militants of the Al-Nusra Front with weapons and military intelligence.
Meanwhile, south of Ratyan, the Syrian Arab Army began to shell the villages of Bayanoun and Hayyan after escorting the inhabitants to safety – both sides are currently shelling one another late into the evening.
A source from the Ba’ath Battalions confirmed that the loyalist forces are firmly in control of Bashkawi, Deir Zeitoun, and Hardatineen – he added that militants have not infiltrated into these villages.
Both the Al-Nusra Front and the NDF are engaged in a violent firefight inside the village of Al-Mallah; this battle has yet to produce any gains for either side, despite the large number of casualties from both forces.
Social media pages loyal to the Syrian Arab Army have reported that the latter is preparing for a siege off the Marjah Quarter; however, there has been no confirmation from the military.