Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Battle to Break Aleppo’s Siege Startles Regime Forces | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A civil defense member carries a dead child in a site hit by airstrikes in the town of Maaret al-Numan. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi

Beirut- Syria’s opposition forces and their allies launched an attack in a bid to lift the siege of Aleppo, a leader at Ahrar al-Sham told Asharq Al-Awsat. “Big surprises are being planned,” he said.

In coincidence with Ahrar al-Sham military spokesperson’s announcement of launching “Anger for Aleppo” battle, military operations, led by up to 10,000 insurgents, began from two directions.

Ahrar al-Sham leader Mohammed al-Shami told Asharq Al-Awsat: “Operations commenced from two directions, regime forces were deluded that the southern countryside will be the starting point of the offensive before startling them from the northwest of Aleppo.”

“The attack was preceded by two suicide attacks then certain locations were attacked by enormous number of militants,” added Shami. He stressed that “battles will not stop until Aleppo is liberated not only the siege broken,” noting that the regime forces are collapsing.

Up to 10,000 fighters participated in the attack, 6,000 of them are from Jund al-Aqsa, as revealed by Shami. Not to mention that 2,000 out of the 6,000 are ready to be suicide attackers; al-Nusra Front, also, supported the battle with 4,000 fighters knowing that its leader, Abu Mohamad al-Jolani, is directly involved in the battle, said Shami.

The German Press Agency (DPA) reported from Syrian opposition sources that “regime forces, supported by Iraqi, Iranian and Lebanese militias, conducted the most aggressive attack to cut the road in front of the opposition. Regime aircrafts and Russian fighter jets took part in the operation, as well.”

The Civil Defense and the Provincial Council of Aleppo (opposition-held areas) declared the highest level of state of emergency and called on citizens to “avoid areas that could possibly be targeted by the Syrian regime for the purpose of committing massacres.”

Opposition factions will cut the only route for supplying the regime forces in Aleppo, if they took control over Ramousa, south of Aleppo. Hence, regime forces will be under siege.