" Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, leader of the militant Shiite group Hezbollah, is sending more fighters to Syria's Aleppo province, which he says has become "the greatest battle" in Syria's six-year civil war. "Thousands of Sunni militant foes have recently entered Syria via the Turkish border with the aim of taking over Aleppo and its surrounding countryside, according to Nasrallah.
""We are facing a new wave…of projects of war against Syria which are being waged in northern Syria, particularly in the Aleppo region," Nasrallah said in a speech broadcast live on the group's Al Manar TV. "It was necessary for us to be in Aleppo … and we will stay in Aleppo."
"The defense of Aleppo is the defense of the rest of Syria; it is the defense of Damascus. It is also the defense of Lebanon, and of Iraq," he said." Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah.
"The Syrian Armed Forces began their long-awaited northern Aleppo offensive last night after spending several weeks in a stagnate position near the volatile Handarat front. Led by the Syrian Arab Army’s “Tiger Forces” and their prominent leader Colonel Suheil Al-Hassan, the Syrian Armed Forces launched their assault from several axes in northern Aleppo, striking the jihadist rebels at the Al-Zahra, Al-Khalidiyah, Bani Zayd, and Al-Layramoun districts inside the provincial capital. According to the preliminary reports from Aleppo City, the Syrian Armed Forces have captured the Aleppo Cotton Gin, Sarheel Factory, and several sites in the Al-Zahra District. In the coming hours, the Syrian Armed Forces are expected to intensify their assault, as the jihadist rebels scramble to repel this large-scale government offensive. The Tiger Forces are not conducting this offensive alone; instead, they are fighting alongside the 4th Mechanized Division, Liwaa AL-Quds (Palestinian paramilitary), and National Defense Forces (NDF)." AMN
One of our correspondents wrote asking for an examination of the current "volatile" situation in Syria. He asked that we discuss this outside the context of the now obvious manpower shortage among the R+6 allied forces on the ground. Well, pilgrims, that is not possible. There is a general shortage of competent ground troops suitably equipped for mobile warfare against enemies who use humans in bomb laden trucks as the equivalents of air strikes and field artillery.
This shortage exists not only among the R+6 but also among the SDF/YPG forces under US Green Beret mentorship in the attack on Manbij west of the Euphrates.
Nasrallah's willingness to commit yet more Hizbullah infantry and armor to what seems likely to be a climactic battle at Aleppo City is IMO indicative of his understanding of the seriousness of the troop shortage situation. Lebanon is a small country. there are only so many Lebanese Shia. He cannot afford to p–s them away in efforts that are peripheral to Shia interests in Lebanon . He clearly does not think the battle for Aleppo is a peripheral effort.
At the same time Suheil the Tiger Forces commander is trying to close off rebel held portions of Aleppo City. He is running a task force composed of his own and many other government allied units. He is aiming to sever all the LOCs running into the rebel held parts from the north. This is a big task since he is subject to attack by all those US supported jihadis that the Turks brought into Syria through Hatay Province during the "ceasefire.". They number something between 6 and 10 K and are heavily laden with US arms like the TOW missile. Frankly, I doubt that Suheil has enough men and tanks in hand to accomplish the closure of the Aleppo pocket from the north.
IMO if the Russian and the Iranians do not want to see the Syrian government disintegrate under pressure they need to "up the ante" significantly in terms of their willingness to commit substantial numbers of their own ground forces to a campaign of anything up to six months for the purpose of destroying the jihadi enemy. pl