In yet another blow to the Assad regime’s attempts to complete the encirclement of Aleppo, rebels re-captured the Handarat area and are pressing forward to drive pro-regime forces out of the Air Defense Battalion. Dozens of pro-regime militants were killed or injured in a failed attempt to retake the Madafa hill north of Aleppo.
Activists said that rebels managed to free dozens of detainees from ISIS’s detention in the town of Al-Bab northeast of Aleppo following clashes that left at least 10 ISIS militants killed. ISIS responded by setting up checkpoints inside the city and on its outskirts and detained a number of civilians.
In rural Latakia, rebels launched a counterattack and recaptured several positions including the Al-Jalta slope and Sheikh Mohammed hilltop and are pressing towards the Al-Nabi Younis hilltop.
Spokesman for the Syrian Coalition Salem al-Meslet praises the gains being made by rebel fighters in Handarat and rural Latakia, pointing out that these spectacular gains turned the dreams of Assad and Soleimani to encircle Aleppo to a nightmare. “Syrian rebels, though outgunned and under-resourced, once again demonstrate unshakeable will in fending off Syria’s several enemies, specifically the Assad regime, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, Hezbollah and ISIS. (Source: Syrian Coalition)