Two weeks ago, the Syrian military had claimed a major early victory in their high-profile Aleppo Province offensive, seizing several towns include Tal Bajer. At the time, this was seen as a huge momentum shift as Russian warplanes backed the offensive.
This weekend, however, those gains are looking fleeting, as al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front has already retaken Tal Bajer and is looking to contest other towns in the area. Al-Qaeda released drone footage showing their forces advancing on the town in tanks.
Al-Qaeda claimed the video showed the military, as well as Hezbollah and Iranian forces, fleeing the town. Though this has not been confirmed as an accurate video, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights did confirm the town was lost to al-Qaeda.
This mirrors fighting elsewhere in Aleppo, where the military has gained, lost, and regained villages around the major northern city of Aleppo with alarming regularity, and in no place do they or anyone else in the province seem able to make sustainable gains.