BEIRUT – Hezbollah has deployed its elite fighting unit to southwestern Aleppo after rebel forces over the weekend broke the regime’s siege on the opposition-held eastern quarters of Syria’s divided second city, according to Iranian media.
The semi-official Fars News Agency reported on Sunday that the troops from Hezbollah’s Radwan Forces, one of the party’s special operations unit, were dispatched to Aleppo Hamdaniyah quarter amid the intensified fighting in the city.
Rebel forces on Saturday pierced through regime lines in the Ramouseh area just south of Hamdaniyah, taking a major artillery base while connecting with their cohorts in eastern Aleppo, who had been under siege of pro-government troops seized control over the Castello road in the north of the city in July.
Fars News claimed that the Radwan Forces were sent to Hamdaniyah “in preparation for the retaking of the areas in southwest Aleppo from the hands of terrorist groups,” adding that a counteroffensive in the flashpoint front “will be carried out jointly by resistance forces.”
The report added that despite opposition advances, the Hamdaniyah quarter “enjoys full security,” further claiming that “there is no danger to the residents of the area.”
However, the Army of Conquest coalition that broke the regime siege on eastern Aleppo announced a highly-ambitious offensive to retake all regime-held areas in the city, which has been divided in half since opposition forces first stormed into the city in the summer of 2012.
NOW's English news desk editor Albin Szakola (@AlbinSzakola) wrote this report. Amin Nasr translated Arabic-language material.