ISIS terrorists launched a surprise counter-offensive on a nearby flank yesterday evening, targeting the two government-held villages of Qutbiyah and Umm Arkilah in a bid to reach the famed Kuweiris Airbase.

Despite ISIS fighters overrunning parts of Qutbiyah for an hour or so, government reinforcements from the nearby airport rushed to support entrenched SAA units and subsequently thwarted the Islamic State attack, killing many terrorists in the process and forcing others to withdraw to rearguard positions near Deir Hafer. The SAA’s Tiger Forces are just two kilometers from Deir Hafer, the last ISIS stronghold in Aleppo; nevertheless, they face a considerable number of jihadist belligerents and a seemingly impregnable defensive line along the axis between Deir Hafer and Jirah Airbase

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