After two years of isolation, the civilians inside Al-Zahra in northern Aleppo were surprised at the sight of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA)entering their village for the first time since they withdrew from their posts in late 2012.
The Syrian Arab Army – in cooperation with the National Defense Forces (NDF) – were able to progress to Al-Zahra, following the capture of Raytan located directly northeast of the village.
The Al-Nusra Front (Jabhat Al-Nusra) is still entrenched in the neighboring village of Al-Maayer; however, they have been forced to concentrate their contingents to the north in order to combat the large SAA and NDF presence.
According to a military source in Aleppo, the SAA – in cooperation with Kata’eb Al-Ba’ath (Ba’ath Battalions) – have secured 80 percent of the Bani Zayd Quarter in the city of Aleppo after fierce clashes with members of the Islamic Front (Jabhat Al-Islamiyya).
Meanwhile, in Al-Mallah, intense firefights have taken place between the NDF and Al-Nusra Front, leaving both parties with a significant casualty list. A source in Aleppo stated that at least 60 NDF fighters have been killed in this battle so far – he also added that there is a large amount casualties from the Al-Nusra Front.