Having lost control over certain areas of northern Aleppo to insurgents a day before, Syrian government forces launched a counteroffensive on Saturday under the cover of airstrikes, said activists and state media. Just a day before, Syrian rebels launched a broad ground attack aiming to break a weeks-long government siege on the eastern rebel-held neighbourhoods of Syria’s largest city.
The insurgents were able to capture much of the western neighbourhood of Assad where Saturday’s fighting was concentrated, according to the Syrian army and the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The Observatory said the new offensive by Syrian troops and their allies was ongoing under the cover of Russian and Syrian airstrikes.
On Friday, insurgents including members of Fatah al-Sham and the ultraconservative Ajnad al-Sham and Ahrar al-Sham militias took advantage of cloudy and rainy weather to attack government positions. East Aleppo has been subjected to a ferocious campaign of aerial attacks by Russian and Syrian government warplanes, and hundreds of people have been killed in recent weeks, according to opposition activists and trapped residents.