ISIS launched a surprise assault on the government-held village of Al-Hammam in eastern Aleppo; however, the terrorists have already been repelled by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and are currently retreating eastwards. During the Islamic State retreat, the Syrian Air Force and SAA artillery units targeted exposed ISISterrorists and killed an estimated 30 terrorists. Furthermore, two improvised machine gun pickup trucks and one BMP have been destroyed by airstrikes.
No Russian jets are involved yet as Syrian pilots have conducted the air raids so far. A military source said Al-Hammam was primarily defended by the SAA’s Republican Guard and experienced Iranian paramilitary fighters; thus explaining the failure by the Islamic State to capture the village. The source also noted that the SAA had been informed about the ISIS attack beforehand but did not clarify how. This in turn allowed government troops not only to regroup but also to set up a deadly and rather eluding line of defence.
Al-Hammam is situated near the Syrian Government’s strategic supply road from Hama to Aleppo and thus holds huge logistical importance. ISIS has seized parts of this supply road several times before, most recently in February. This evening’s terrorist attack seems to be an attempt by ISIS to relieve the pressure on the newly captured other terrorist group al-Sha’ar oil and gas fields; these sites will likely witness heavy clashes in the coming days as the SAA intends to recapture the area.