Hayat Tahrir al-Sham raid Government positions in Aleppo

By Eray Fox

On the 11th of August, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) affiliated media claimed to have attacked government positions at the Mallah farms north of Aleppo city, killing nine soldiers and injuring another seven aswell as seizing several small arms and ammunition before returning safely.

Picture of captured spoils by HTS in N. Aleppo, released by Ebnaa Agency. 

Picture of captured spoils by HTS in N. Aleppo, released by Ebnaa Agency. 

Hayat Tahrir al-Sham forces frequently raid government forces positions in Aleppo and Hama province. The latest raid was in northern Hama province, on the 4th of August, when HTS attacked government positions in the vicinity of Tel Bezam area. A foreign fighter faction composed of mainly Chechen fighters, Ajnad al-Kavkaz, claims to have killed two government soldiers and took four military checkpoints and withdrew from the earlier captured positions after. Death toll reports suggest that the raiding forces took two casualties and their tank was damaged. Ahrar al-Sham later claimed to have repelled a small government counter-attack. On the 6th of July, HTS launched a raid on government positions in Al-Mallah area, Aleppo, claiming to have killed some 10 government soldiers. On the 2nd August, they again attacked government positions in Al-Mallah, Aleppo and  claimed to have killed some 20 soldiers, wounding several others and destroying a BMP vehicle with mortar fire. HTS later published the pictures of the spoils they captured during the raid. The location of the raid on the 11th of August was at ''Castello'' area, near the fabric areas north of Aleppo. The actual casualties of the raids remain unknown.

Location of the rough area where the attack occurred, via wikimapia.org

Location of the rough area where the attack occurred, via wikimapia.org

As the battle between the Syrian government forces and the various opposition factions loses its intensity in greater Idlib, HTS and its allies have begun to conduct more and more of these small-scale attacks on exposed frontline positions. Often executed at dawn or during the night by their "Elite Forces" and accompanied by Malhama Tactical, a group of elite private instructors and fighters, these attacks aim to test the defense lines and to capture spoils.