Syrian Army Preparing for Fresh Operations to Free Rest of Militant-Held Lands in Aleppo
TEHRAN - Syrian Army troops and popular forces are getting ready to carry out a fresh round of offensives to liberate the territories that are still under the control of ISIL and Jeish al-Fatah in different parts of Aleppo province, a military source disclosed on Tuesday.
The source said that the pro-government forces that recently liberated the Eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo city are about to launch large-scale offensives against ISIL positions in Eastern and Northeastern Aleppo and Jeish al-Fatah positions in Southern and Southwestern Aleppo.
The sources added that liberation of the Eastern districts of Aleppo was a great victory, but anti-terrorism battles in Aleppo province are still underway.
"The Jeish al-Fatah terrorists are still present in large regions in Aleppo province, in the meantime ISIL controls the key regions of al-Bab and Deir Hafer that are the gate to Raqqa province," they said, adding, "Around 6,000 Syrian forces are deployed in Kuweires airbase in Eastern Aleppo to launch their operation."
Based on reports, the Syrian military forces are about to start an operation from the Northern direction to free the towns of Deir Hafer and al-Bab, while other units will kick off their operation from the South to take back the districts of Rashedeen 4 and 5 and then Khan Touman.
Military sources disclosed on Saturday that the army's Tiger Forces lifted the three and a half year long siege on the Kuweires Military Airport in Eastern Aleppo in November 2015 that paved the way for their eventual reentry into the al-Bab Plateau and Deir Hafer Plains, were preparing for another large-scale operation in Eastern Aleppo.
"However, the Tiger Forces offensive was put on hold by the army's CentCom in March 2015, as the nationwide ceasefire at that time provided them the means to finally liberate Palmyra from the ISIL terrorists," he added.
Now, Palmyra is once again under ISIL's control, but this time around, the Syrian army has a large number of reserves from their Republican Guard forces that are still positioned in Eastern Aleppo, he explained.
The source said these Republican Guard units would not be redeployed to the Palmyra front like the Tiger Forces; instead, they would take part in the Syrian Arab Army's first real offensive to liberate the ISIL's stronghold of Deir Hafer near Raqqa province's border.
Another important component to take in account is the Turkish Army's offensive at al-Bab; this operation has kept the ISIL terrorists busy, while also leaving them short on manpower at the Deir Hafer front, according to the source.