On Thursday morning, the Syrian Arab Army’s 4th Mechanized Division – in coordination with Hezbollah, the National Defense Forces (NDF) of Aleppo City, the Al-Ba’ath Battalions, and several Iranian and Iraqi paramilitary units – surprised the Islamist rebels from Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham, Harakat Nouriddeen Al-Zinki, and Liwaa Suqour Al-Sham with a powerful assault on the strategic city of Al-Hadher, killing several of the latter’s militants before they imposed full control over this rebel stronghold in southern Aleppo.
According to a battlefield journalist traveling with the SAA’s 4th Mechanized Division in southern Aleppo, the Syrian Armed Forces and their allies broke-through the Islamist rebel defenses around 11:30 A.M. (Damascus Time) and reportedly captured the Al-Hadher National Hospital within minutes of overrunning Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham’s positions.
Following their decisive victory at Al-Hadher, the Syrian Armed Forces and their allies shifted their attention to two different sites in southern Aleppo: Al-‘Eiss and Khirbat Al-Muhal.
With the Syrian Arab Army’s 4th Mechanized Division attacking Khirbat Al-Muhal, Hezbollah and the Iraqi/Iranian paramilitary units concentrated on the strategic mountain town of Al-‘Eiss; this had an adverse effect on the Islamist rebel frontlines as they found their forces spread too thin.
The Syrian Arab Army’s 4th Mechanized Division rolled through Khirbat Al-Muhal and Tal Bajjar, seizing these two villages after an intense series of firefights with the Islamist rebels from Harakat Nouriddeen Al-Zinki and Liwaa Suqour Al-Sham.
North of the aforementioned villages, Hezbollah and the Iraqi/Iranian paramilitary units attacked Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham’s positions inside Al-‘Eiss; this assault proved too much for the aforementioned rebel group, resulting in their retreat to the town’s outskirts in order to avoid being overrun.
While many activists claimed Al-‘Eiss was fully captured by Hezbollah and the Iranian/Iraqi paramilitary units, a ground source confirmed that there is still ongoing firefights at the town’s western flank – he did, however, confirm that Al-‘Eiss is under fire control.
Unfortunately for the Islamist rebels, the events that took place on Thursday proved very costly as they now face a serious threat along the strategic Aleppo-Damascus Highway, which is also their primary supply route from Idlib to Aleppo.
Much of the Syrian Armed Forces’ success was attributed to the large presence of Iraqi and Iranian fighters, who did most of the fighting inside the strategic town of Al-‘Eiss.
Among the Iranian and Iraqi paramilitary units, the largest groups participating in this attack were the following: Harakat Al-Nujaba (Iraqi), Kata’eb Hezbollah (Iraqi), Liwaa Abu Fadl Al-‘Abbas (Iraqi), and Firqa Fatayyemoun (Iranian/Afghani).