Jabhat al-Nusra repels loyalist attack on al-Eis

Fighting between loyalist and rebel forces in southern Aleppo continues, particularly around the town of al-Eis. On 12 April, pro-government forces launched an attack on the town, only to be beaten back by Jabhat al-Nusra. The loyalist force was made up of Hezbollah, Iraqi Shi'a militias such as Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba, Afghan Shi'a militia Liwa Fateyimoun, and potentially Iranian Army special operations brigades recently deployed to Syria. Pro-government sources reported that they were able to take parts of the town, but failed to take the hill to the south and were forced to retreat. Jabhat al-Nusra and other rebel factions released multiple videos and photos after the attack, showing dead loyalist soldiers, including one who had been beheaded. One al-Nusra video, shot with a drone, shows the loyalist force fleeing the town and retreating east to al-Hader (see below).

Jabhat al-Nusra drone footage of the loyalist retreat.

The crosshairs mark the road taken by retreating loyalist forces. Screenshot from Wikimapia.