first published on April 3, 2016 by Will
Al Qaeda’s Syrian branch, al Nusra Front, launched a successful siege against Syrian troops and Shiite paramilitary groups near the strategic Talat al-‘Iss hill, south of the city of Aleppo.
The Islamist group initiated the assault with three massive suicide blasts, one of which was carried out by an Albanian national. Amid the chaos, the jihadists pushed infantry and multiple armored vehicles, including a captured American Humvee, into the fight.
The following video documents the battle and includes footage from tank and IFV mounted cameras as well as aerial quadcopter footage. At one point, the drone footage appears to show Syrian troops retreating from entrenched fighting positions after taking fire.
Although a cease-fire has been in place between the Syrian government and some of the rebel groups, Nusra was not part of the agreement. This has allowed fighters from other groups, including Western-backed militias to fight under the al Qaeda banner without breaching the cease-fire.