Renewed Jaish al Fateh offensive on Khan Touman surroundings

On friday, 03.06.2016, the well-known rebel coalition based in the opposition controlled territories in Aleppo and Idlib named “Jaysh al-Fateh” or “Army of Conquest”, which includes many hardline jihadi groups such as Jabhat al-Nusra, Turkistan Islamic Party, Ajnad al-Sham and Jaysh al Sunnah and many other factions such as Ahrar ash-Sham, Faylaq al-Sham and various local FSA brigades (for example the US-backed Central Division) launched an early morning assault on Syrian Army positions on the eastern outskirts of the strategic town of Khan Touman in southern Aleppo countryside.

After having taken control of the town almost a month ago, the rebels now quickly advanced and captured all of the bases, fuel stations and depots located northeast and directly east of the town. This includes the Air Defense Batallion base and the village of Khirbet Maar’ata. They were supported by artillery and tank fire from the backlines and used various tanks and BMP for their assault.

After taking control of the military positions, the rebel coalition pushed further south through the Qarassi farms and reached the village of Humayra, which it captured after heavy clashes. After that, first reports of a Nusra SVBIED surfaced, which was confirmed to have been used on military positions in the village of Khalasah. After entering the village, more reports of a second SVBIED appeared some hours later and the final news that the rebels had captured it. This however remains fluid or atleast unconfirmed.

Overnight, the Russian Air Force was active and initiated many airstrikes onto military positions of JaF in and around the areas of combat in S. Aleppo; this seemed to have been the start to a counteroffensive by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Iraqi paramilitary group Harakat al-Nujaba and various Syrian Army elements, which reportedly recaptured the village of Khalasah and some points near it and the village of Zaytan, located to the east.

The situation is still developing, as it seems that the rebels want to capture even more territory and the SAA is mounting a counterattack.

To note is the captured of atleast a dozen of gov forces, including Syrian soldiers from Aleppo and Homs. Also, a video was posted where rebels used a Kornet ATGM to hit a retreating group of atleast 8-9 gov forces.

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