Around midnight, the National Defence Forces (NDF) – assisted by various paramilitary factions – recaptured Zeitan after Islamist rebel fighters stormed and temporarily seized the village during the evening hours.
Meanwhile, heavy clashes continue inside the village of Khalasah with neither side able to gain the upper hand overnight.
A military source in Aleppo told Al-Masdar News that at very minimum 20 Islamist fighters had been killed, with approximately 20 more injured. Most of the casualties were inflicted on the al-Nusra Front, the al-Qaeda franchise in Syria.
Furthermore, a T-72 tank was destroyed along with two BMP’s – effectively, rebel forces have lost half the armored vehicles showcased during previous southern Aleppo offensives.
Meanwhile, pro-government forces also suffered heavy casualties although the exact death toll was not revealed to Al-Masdar News.
The Syrian Arab Air Force (SyAAF) is playing an important role in repelling the jihadist fighters, carrying out tens of airstrikes today, while the Russian Air Force remains passive for now. Syrian military helicopters are also involved in the NDF’s counter-offensive.
The latest reports suggest rebel forces to have retreated entirely from the newly entered areas although battlefield events are still unfolding as we speak.