A Damascus-based newspaper, citing sources, has reported that Brigadier General and brother of President Bashar al-Assad, is commanding troops in the Homs and Aleppo theater of operations.
Maher al-Assad is reportedly a commander in the army’s Fourth Armoured Division. Much secrecy surrounds the makeup of the Syrian armed forces and the current order of battle – the report was leaked to the Damas Post newspaper.
The Syrian Army launched a ferocious assault on insurgents in Homs, focused specifically on the districts of both Khaldiyeh and the Old City where troops have uncovered insurgent tunnels and arms dumps.
According to the newspaper, Al-Assad praised Syrian troops on their securing of Talkalkh and Al-Qusayr recently, as well as stressing the need for a swift conclusion of operations in Homs city and a concentration of troops from the Fourth Armoured Division on Aleppo countryside. Sources told Damas Post:
The General is busy these days leading the military operation, called ‘Northern Hurricane’ in the northern Aleppo province, in addition to the battle of Homs.
Free Syrian Army (FSA) and Jabhat al-Nusra insurgents have blockaded a number of communities in Aleppo countryside – raining mortars and rockets on the towns of Nubol and Zahra. Recently, a helicopter carrying primary school exam papers was shot down over the besieged town of Nubol.
Video: Al-Alam News Report on Homs Assault