April 07 – by Scott Lucas – eaworldview – Moscow had halted aerial operations because of the February 27 cessation of hostilities, brokered by the US and Russia. However, last Friday the rebel-Nusra lighting attack retook areas which had been seized by a regime-Iranian-Hezbollah ground assault from last October, enabled by Moscow’s initial waves of airstrikes.
The territory gained included the town of al-Eis, on the Aleppo-to-Damascus highway, and nearby hills. A series of attacks led by Iranian forces and including Hezbollah and foreign militias failed, and a regime Su-22 jet fighter on a bombing mission was downed by rebels with an anti-aircraft missile.
The Russian military then decided to resume support. On Wednesday, it reportedly used cluster bombs and white phosphorus in addition to other bombs and missiles.
Russian officials did not mention the southern Aleppo front in their announcement of the operations, instead referring to clashes in Aleppo city between rebels — framed as Jabhat al-Nusra “terrorists” — and Kurdish militia:
After artillery preparation, terrorists of gang formations controlled by Jabhat al-Nusra with the overall strength of up to 1,500 people, supported by 3 tanks and 20 vehicles with mounted heavy machine guns from the districts of Ashrafia and Ash-Shababi of the city of Aleppo attacked the positions of the Kurdish militia in the Sheikh Maqsood neighborhood.So far there is no reported advance on the ground by the Iranian-led force. Pro-regime sites falsely claimed on Wednesday that al-Eis and the nearby hills had been recaptured before retracting the story. A pro-regime blogger acknowledged, that there is “very little Syrian Army at this front right now”.