Attention has been drawn lately towards Aleppo following the Storm of North operation launched by the Syrian army and initiated by aerial bombardment on Aazaz and Andan, accompanied by land operations towards the two besieged towns of al-Nobbol and al-Zahraa.
In the city of Aleppo, army units clashed Monday with armed groups in the local market and Sami Dahan School in Qadi Askar region, in addition to the south of the Umayyad Mosque and the Justice Palace in the old city.
Meanwhile, the national military continued operations against the militants’ gatherings in the old city of Aleppo, and the villages of Ming, Mayer, Great Orme and Abtin, as well as the area around the central prison.
The army also seized control over a number of buildings in Sayf al-Dawla and Zabdiya neighborhoods, which were used to store ammunition and weapons by the insurgents.
However, it seems that Homs returned to be the army’s priority, by continuing to expand control in the eastern and western regions adjacent to the city of Talkalakh on the Lebanese-Syrian border and the Qaryaten to the east, all the way to the immobilize insurgents in Rastan.
Elsewhere in Homs, gatherings of armed men were destroyed in a number of the city’s neighborhoods and countryside. Yet, the Army moved on hunting militiamen in farms surrounding the Qaryaten city (Two Villages).
A Syrian military source said that one army unit "discovered a large number of mortars and improvised explosive devices, tunnels and bunkers used by the armed terrorist groups" during continuous inspections in farms surrounding the city of Qaryaten in which security and stability have been restored on Thursday.
SANA news agency reported that many terrorists have been killed and their weapons and ammunition were destroyed in the Khalidiya neighborhood in which the army made significant progress.
Syrian national military sources confirmed significant progress in the main city of Homs, primarily in Khalidiya neighborhood, in addition to killing scores of militants in the Qosoor, Qarabis, Jouret Shiah, Bab Hood, Masabegh, Dar Kabira villages, Ghanto, Rastan and Talbisa neighborhoods, along with Great Khadija School.
In turn, opposition activists claimed that militiamen in central old Homs and five adjacent neighborhoods have largely repelled a ground offensive of the government forces, yet they didn’t provide further information.
The activists stressed that several neighborhoods in old Homs and its environs witnessed artillery airborne shelling since Monday morning.
In Damascus countryside, powerful explosions were heard Monday in the Marj region at East Ghouta, in addition to the artillery bombardment on Duma and Harasta where clashes took place and caused casualties among the two parties, militant opposition websites reported.
“In Damascus southern countryside, a terrorist bunker has been destroyed, including machine guns and ammunition in the town of Thyabiya in Harasta,” military sources told the state-run news agency SANA.
“Army units clashed with terrorist groups in the vicinity of Dawar al-Manasher in Jobar which resulted in killing and injuring number of terrorists, among them were Anwar Hasan Nuru and Mohammad Souda," sources added.
Among the killed were leaders of the so-called “Islam Brigade” terrorist group, as well as militiamen from Arab nationalities. The army also tightened control over the Sowaida neighborhood and al-Mistah hill in the Barzeh neighborhood, state-run news agency SANA reported.
A military source said that army units chased the armed terrorist groups in Qaboun and Barzeh neighborhoods at the bus stations, while other units encircled the terrorists’ bunkers in a number of buildings in Barzeh, having tightened control over the Sowaida neighborhood and the bulk of the Mestah hill.
Another Syrian source indicated that dens of armed groups near the Galaa park in the city of Duma were destroyed and one of “Islam Brigade” leaders, Hatem Abdul Raouf, and Yahya Alsaaour were killed.
Several casualties among “Duma Martyrs Brigade” also occurred; one of them was Ali Fayyad. Meanwhile, media sources said that death toll among insurgents in the neighborhood of Jobar in Rural Damascus reached 100.
In Harasta, the Syrian army destroyed a militants’ bunker at Thanawi roundabout, which contained large quantities of weapons and ammunition, killing all the existing militants.
In Latakia countryside, leader of the so-called "Immigrants to God Battalion", linked to al-Nusra Front, the Libyan Abu Liyad, was killed along with most of his group members in the village of Doreen, during an operation carried out by the Syrian army in the region.
The operation left a car packed with large quantities of explosives and different kinds of weapons, including heavy machine guns.
Syria was hit by a violent unrest since mid-March 2011, where the Syrian government accuses foreign actors of orchestrating the conflict by supporting the militant opposition groups with arms and money.