50658
A still image taken on September 27, 2016, from a drone footage obtained by Reuters shows damaged buildings  in a militant-held area of Aleppo, Syria.
A still image taken on September 27, 2016, from a drone footage obtained by Reuters shows damaged buildings  in a militant-held area of Aleppo, Syria.

Syrian Troops Attack Militants to Retake Aleppo

Quelling the conflict in the city would give President Assad his biggest victory yet of the war and deliver a powerful blow to his enemies

Syrian Troops Attack Militants to Retake Aleppo

Syrian government forces and their allies attacked the militant-held sector of Aleppo on several fronts on Tuesday.
Tuesday’s assault saw pro-government forces, which include the Syrian Army and allied militia from Iraq and Lebanon, attempt to attack Aleppo’s Old City near its historic citadel, as well as around several of the city’s major access points, Reuters reported.
Troops advanced from the countryside to the north and south, militants said, leading to intense clashes. The military and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based war monitoring group, said the army had made some gains, but this was disputed by militants who said they had held them off.
A militant official said insurgents had advanced against government forces in a separate battle further south in Hama Province.
“The militants took over several villages in Hama’s northeastern countryside, building on gains they made nearby on Saturday,” said Mohammed Rasheed, a spokesman for the Jaish al-Nasr militant group.
Senior combatants on both sides said pro-government forces were massing in several parts of Aleppo, Syria’s biggest city before the war, now divided into a western zone held by the army and a smaller, besieged area held by militants.
The commander of an Iraqi militia fighting in support of President Bashar Assad told Reuters a large force spearheaded by the army’s elite “Nimr”, or Tiger, forces had started to move in armored vehicles and tanks for an attack on militant-held areas.
Quelling the conflict in the city would give Assad his biggest victory yet of the war and deliver a powerful blow to his enemies.
It is far from clear whether an all-out attempt to storm the militant-held area is planned soon: That would require a massive assault by the army, backed by Lebanese and Iraqi militias, as well as Russian air power.
The government’s strategy in other locations such as Damascus and Homs has been to use years of siege and bombardment to force eventual surrender, rather than attempting to storm well-defended territory.
Aleppo residents said the ferocious air attacks of previous nights had abated somewhat.
State television reported that the army had retaken al-Farafra district in Aleppo’s Old City and engineering units were clearing mines in the area.
A senior militant source said the army had taken some positions near that area, but had been forced to withdraw. Neither assertion could be independently confirmed. He described it as the biggest wave of ground attacks since the offensive was announced last week.
Zakaria Malahifji, a politburo member of the Fastaqim group which is active in Aleppo, said the army had assembled infantry and heavy vehicles in a military buildup in the city.
The militant official said pro-government forces were mobilizing near the militant-held Sheikh Saeed District on the city’s southern outskirts, near the location of the heaviest fighting this summer in Aleppo.
“They are working to expand on any opening they create,” said the official from an Aleppo-based militant faction, citing reports from his fighters.

Short URL : https://goo.gl/mQnvE9
  1. https://goo.gl/qMVQcD
  • https://goo.gl/wLM0nB
  • https://goo.gl/FpdUpK
  • https://goo.gl/c5I9Xh
  • https://goo.gl/8vvhcF

Trending

Googleplus