ALEPPO – Syrian regime’s army mobilized Wednesday hundreds of troops and heavy weapons in the southern countryside of Aleppo, north Syria, in preparation to storm rebels’ positions in the area.
Forces loyal to the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have take several towns in southern Aleppo as military bases, including the towns of al-Mrej and Khan Touman.
This was coupled with Russian fighter jets conducting sorties over Aleppo, military sources reported.
Speaking to ARA News in Aleppo, Saleh Zein, spokesman for the Levant Front (major rebel faction fighting in Aleppo), said that pro-Assad army units and allied Shiite militias were heavily mobilized in southern Aleppo.
“Pro-Assad forces are trying to take advantage of the current ceasefire to take over the entire southern countryside of Aleppo,” Zein said.
This comes after the regime’s army units lost ground to rebel factions in northeastern Aleppo.
“The regime intends to continue its advance south of Aleppo after recapturing main towns and villages from the rebels in the recent weeks,” local media activist Mustafa Sulaiman told ARA News. “The Russian sorties helped secure the movements of pro-Assad troops in the area on Wednesday.”
In the meantime, over 20 rebel fighters from the Levant Front were reportedly killed in Russian airstrikes.
“The Russian warplanes targeted rebel strongholds in the villages of Zarbeh, Tall al-Sultan and Wasta in southeastern Aleppo, killing 22 rebel fighters and wounding dozens more,” Sulaiman reported.
Spokesman of the Levant Front said that their fighters responded to the strikes by bombing headquarters of pro-Assad forces in the al-Ayss town with a number of mortar shells, without giving further details.
Reporting by: Taim Khalil
Source: ARA News
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