Syria Army Recaptures Territory North of Aleppo

Syria Army Recaptures Territory North of AleppoSyria Army Recaptures Territory North of Aleppo

Syria’s army seized an area north of Aleppo on Sunday and killed insurgents as fierce battles raged over the strategic territory, a group monitoring the war and state media reported.

Syria’s second city is at the heart of clashes between pro-government forces and a range of insurgents, including al Qaeda’s Syria wing and western-backed militants, Reuters reported.

The United Nations Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura is seeking a local ceasefire in Aleppo to allow badly-needed humanitarian assistance into the divided northern city.

Insurgent-held districts have been flattened by Syrian air force bombardments.

Pro-government forces captured an area east of al-Malah farms outside Aleppo and is now aiming to secure parts in the west and cut off insurgent supply lines into the city, the Britain-based group calling itself Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

It said 34 fighters from mlitant groups including al Qaeda’s Nusra Front were killed when Syria’s army attacked their positions with backup from local and foreign militias. It added that there were also battles south and east of the city.

Syria’s state news agency said the army was tightening its “grip on terrorists in Aleppo after new advances.”

It said pro-government forces had captured all of the al-Malah area as well as areas south and west of Handarat town in the countryside and reported that a “huge number” of enemy fighters had been killed.

The U.N.’s de Mistura has defended the ceasefire plan, saying that opposition forces backed the idea and has warned the fall of the city could create an additional 400,000 refugees.