Major Offensive Brewing in Northern Syria: Thousands of Pro-Government Forces Head North
It has been approximately ten months since the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and their allies have launched a large-scale offensive in northern Syria; however, this is about to change, as thousands of militiamen head north towards a landscape that is mostly controlled by the Syrian Al-Qaeda group “Jabhat Al-Nusra” and their Islamist affiliates.
According to a military source in Damascus, a large unit of Hezbollah soldiers that participated in the Al-Zabadani offensive have been redeployed to an unknown location in northern Syria, along with over 1,000 NDF fighters and 1,300 Iraqi Shia militiamen that have been stationed inside the country for over six months without seeing any serious combat near the Sayida Zaynab Shrine in the Damascus countryside.
The location of this offensive has not been released to Al-Masdar News due to security concerns, but it appears that all arrows are pointing to either the Al-Ghaab Plains of the Hama Governorate, the predominately Shi’i towns of Al-Zahra and Nubl in northern Aleppo, or the first major government offensive against the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) in east Aleppo.
The Syrian Armed Forces have attempted to recapture the Al-Ghaab Plains from the possession of the Syrian Al-Qaeda affiliates in “Jaysh Al-Fateh” (Army of Conquest; unfortunately, they have been relatively unsuccessful in their last three attempts.
In regards to a possible offensive in northern Aleppo: this was the Syrian Armed Forces’ last large-scale offensive in northern Syria; it ended with the National Defense Forces (NDF) capturing the towns of Bashkoy and Duwayr Al-Zeitoun, while losing the village of Al-Malaah near Handrarat.
The east Aleppo front has been relatively quiet throughout the duration of this war in Syria; this area is also an ISIS stronghold that possesses very little resources and a vast array of desert territory that stretches to the terrorist group’s capital of Al-Raqqa.
If the Syrian Army and their allies launch an offensive in east Aleppo, expect one of the most violent battles inside Syria since the ISIS offensive inside the provincial capital of Al-Hasakah in July of 2015.