Following the entrance of Russia into Syria and the bombing of opposition forces’ bases, the Iranian regime entered Quds Force, Lebanese and Iraqi militias and also other militias from Pakistan and Afghanistan and initiated a widespread attack against southern Aleppo under Russian airstrikes intending to take over Aleppo city.
In Syria many groups are fighting alongside government forces against opposition forces. In southern Aleppo evidence proves that Iranian and foreign elements are supporting the Syrian military ever since Russian planes have entered the war in this country.
There is no difference between the ongoing battles in southern Aleppo then the other parts of Syria, yet let’s take a look at sides in the battle of southern Aleppo.
On one side we see the armed Syrian opposition that is consisted of many groups. Yet on the other side you don’t just see the Syrian army. There is Russia that acts as the air power of Assad’s ground forces and foreign militias. Russia also uses its missile launch stands in the Caspian Sea north of Iran, firing them at the city of Aleppo. On the ground it is the Iranian, Lebanese, Iraqi and Afghani militias that are along with the Syrian military and Iranian regime Quds Force that are leading the charge. One of the most well-known commanders of the Quds Force leading the war in Aleppo is Qassem Suleimani. Prior to him Quds Force commander Hossein Hamedani led the battle there, yet he was killed in battle and Qassem Suleimani took over the front.
There are 22 Iraqi militia groups that are fighting in southern Aleppo. Some of the most well-known groups are the Iraqi Najba Movement, Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq, Kata’ib Hezbollah, and the Badr Brigade.
The armed opposition says that it has killed many Iranian officers in the battles of southern Aleppo. The most prominent Iranian commanders that have been killed in these battles are Hossein Hamedani and Massoud Akbari and also several leading members of Lebanese Hezbollah and Iraqi militias. Most of these elements have been killed when anti-armor rockets struck their vehicles. Two weeks ago Qassem Suleimani suffered a serious neck injury after an anti-armor rocket hit is vehicle. He was transferred to Tehran yet in order for the regime’s forces to not lose their morale the regime prevented the publication of its news.
One of the Free Syrian Army commanders says that intelligence sources have revealed that some 4000 IRGC forces, 3000 Najba Movement, 1000 Kata’ib Hezbollah and 1000 Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq forces are present in southern Aleppo. They have been identified through the corpses of the dead. There is no trace of Syrian military forces.
The Syrian opposition says that through attacking the vehicles of foreign forces, they have been able to take many of them hostage. They have admitted of having major roles in the battles in southern Aleppo. The role of Iranian, Lebanese Hezbollah and militia forces in the battles of southern Aleppo isn’t a second hand role. Currently, the situation on the ground has reversed and the Syrian army has a second hand role.
Some two months have passed since the attack of Quds Force forces along with militias in this front and they have received severe blows and to this date haven’t had any advances. That is why the IRGC intends to change its attack plan and open a new front in northeastern Aleppo. Based on the latest news from the Syrian resistance forces, currently the battles have come to a halt in southern Aleppo. It is expected that Quds Force and militias affiliated to it to launch a new attack in the northeastern front of Aleppo. Syrian opposition forces have to be vigilant in this regard.