Tag Archives: Aleppo

Russian-Backed Syrian Army Defeats ISIS at Aleppo

Russian air strikes and the Syrian government’s army proved an effective tag team in defeating ISIS on Tuesday, as Bashar al-Assad’s forces finally ended an ISIS siege on the Kweires air base in the northern region of Aleppo province.

The Associated Press notes that the siege had been ongoing since 2013, with ISIS forces surrounding the facility as around 1000 Syrian troops clung to their positions awaiting liberation. Reporters have theorized that ISIS’ infamous brutality might have prevented the Syrian troops from surrendering out of fears that they might face the types of executions that have befallen ISIS’ widely-publicized victims.

Syrian state TV claimed that dozens of ISIS fighters died in the battle, and a soldier who had been defending the base said that hundreds of extremist corpses were found around its perimeter.

[RELATED: ISIS Video Credits Sinai Affiliate for Downing of Russian Plane]

A triumphant Syrian officer said in a TV broadcast from inside the base, “With the liberation of Kweiras, we will liberate other areas.” ISIS currently controls around half of Syria’s territory.

In addition to assistance from Russian air strikes, Hezbollah militants bolstered Assad’s efforts to lift the ISIS siege.

Breitbart’s John Hayward wrote, “Russian planes have been carrying out airstrikes in the area, coupled with a notable increase in the tempo of Syrian Army operations. This will doubtless reinforce the narrative that Russian air power is helping the Syrian army turn the tide in the years-long civil war. The recapture of Kweires is being widely described as the Assad regime’s most significant success of the war.

Russian airstrikes have been ongoing in the area since September 30, according to Reuters. Russian planes have reportedly conducted over 1,600 sorties so far.

Syrian state TV captured dramatic footage from the battle, which can be seen below.


Prior to the victory that liberated the besieged troops, Assad had been under pressure to take action for over a year from protesting family members of Syrian soldiers who had been trapped in the ISIS siege with no means of escape.

For context on the regional struggle, watch Ben Swann’s Truth in Media video on the origins of ISIS below.


Syria Launches Offensive Against Rebel Areas Around Aleppo

by Jason Ditz

While their offensive against the area around the border between the Hama and Idlib Provinces continues backed by Russian airstrikes, Syria has launched a second offensive in the area surrounding the northern city of Aleppo, targeting various rebel factions.

The attack is targeting several different rebel groups, including ISIS, which recently seized a number of villages on the outskirts of Aleppo, and Ahrar al-Sham, who recently took one of ISIS’ villages in that area. The city of Aleppo has long been a major goal for Syria.

And while Russia’s air support in this offensive appears to be less substantial than that in the Hama/Idlib area, the Syrian troops are said to be backed by Hezbollah and some other “Iran-backed” forces, with the U.S. putting these auxiliaries at about 2,000 strong.

Aleppo has been contested for several years now, and what was once Syria’s industrial and financial capital, a city of over two million, is now a bunch of contested districts surrounded by wreckage. Syria’s military is one of several factions trying to take the city, and none have been very successful so far. Whoever ultimately ends up with the city is going to have a lot of reconstruction to do.

Rival Rebels Seize Key ISIS Villages in Syria’s North

by Jason Ditz

After a Friday offensive left ISIS just a stone’s throw out of the major north Syrian city of Aleppo, fighting continued over the weekend which saw rival rebel factions aiming to chase ISIS out of some of the strategically important villages, with some success.

Ahrar al-Sham, one of the key Islamic Front factions, seized one of the villages from ISIS, and was in the process of contesting another, which is along the key highway between the city of Aleppo and the Turkish border.

Russia launched a number of airstrikes against ISIS in Aleppo in recent days and destroyed one of their ammunition depots in the province, though ISIS continues to have significant forces in the area, and is not being easily displaced from its newly-seized territory.

As of Friday, ISIS had forces just a few hundred meters from the northern edge of Aleppo, though now they are described as some 20 km away from the city with the new fighting. Aleppo was Syria’s industrial and financial capital before the war, though after years of being contested the city is largely a mess of contested districts.