Syria Launches Counter-Offensive Against al-Qaeda in Aleppo

Russia Confirms Airstrikes Against Nusra Forces in Area

A day after al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate the Nusra Front reported shooting down a Syrian warplane, the nation’s military has launched a major counter-offensive in the same area, centering on the town of al-Eis, just west of the major city of Aleppo.

In the leadup to the ceasefire, which began in late February, fighting was heavy around Aleppo Province and a lot of territory changed hands. Since then, the fighting has mostly centered on ISIS and Nusra, who are not parties to the ceasefire.

But Nusra has been pushing deeper into the area recently, despite facing pressure from the military, and Russia has reported launching airstrikes targeting Nusra in the area, aiming to keep them from getting any further east.

Nusra has been targeting both government-held territory and territory held by the Kurdish YPG in these recent offensives. Russian officials say they were targeting Nusra troops who were approaching Kurdish territory.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.