With the Russian ceasefire in Aleppo having expired over the weekend, the Syrian military is launching a major new offensive against the remaining parts of the city held by the al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front, making some key gains just south of the city.
The main territory captured was the Bazo hill, which overlooks the southern part of the city and is near multiple military bases. Control of the hilltop allows Syrian military forces to more accurately shell Nusra fighters acting in the surrounding area.
Previous offensives have seen Syrian forces capture central districts from Nusra, and also some areas north of the city. This new move leaves Nusra with less and less breathing room to try to hold their “half” of the city, which is increasingly under siege, and under growing pressure to evacuate.
Aleppo has been contested since 2012, with several different factions entering and leaving during that time, Nusra started pushing into the area earlier this year, and the Syrian military has quickly consolidated the other half, meaning at this point they are the last two standing in the fight over the once great, but now mostly ruined, city.