Syrian Troops Capture Village Near Aleppo

Syrian Troops Capture Village Near AleppoSyrian Troops Capture Village Near Aleppo

Syrian government forces on Saturday captured another village near Aleppo, tightening the noose around militant-held parts of the northern city, Syrian state TV and an opposition activist group said.

The ground attack in Aleppo province sparked artillery shelling by Turkish troops at Kurdish positions as Ankara appears to be worried that Syrian Kurdish fighters and Syrian government forces might reach the northern town of Azaz that is home to a major border crossing point that has been controlled by militants since 2012, AP reported.

Syrian state TV reported late Saturday night that Turkish troops fired five shells at the mountains of the coastal province of Latakia that recently witnessed intense clashes between government forces and Turkish-backed gunmen.

State TV and the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said troops captured Tamoura on Saturday around noon, amid intense shelling and air raids by Russian warplanes.

Syrian troops have been advancing under cover of Russian airstrikes with the aim of besieging militant-held parts of Aleppo, Syria’s largest city. If they are able to do so, it will be the biggest defeat for insurgents since the conflict began in March 2011.

To the north, warplanes carried out more than 20 air raids on the town of Tel Rifaat, a stronghold of the powerful ultraconservative Ahrar al-Sham group, according to the Observatory. Tel Rifaat is about 15 km from the border with Turkey.