Syrian Army denies rebels’ claim of taking over key military posts in Aleppo
Damascus The Syrian army recaptured military positions the rebels had stormed earlier on Saturday in southern Aleppo province in northern Syria, according to pan-Arab al-Mayadeen TV and a military source.
A military source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity that the Syrian army restored positions the rebels stormed earlier in the day at the Artillery College base in the southern countryside of Aleppo.
He added that large numbers of the rebels were killed, while the rest were from positions they stormed an adjacent military college near the artillery base.
The source said the Syrian forces and allied fighters are targeting the withdrawing rebels with heavy artillery.
Meanwhile, pan-Arab al-Mayadeen TV cited its reporter in Aleppo as confirming that the rebel were no longer in control of any part of the military colleges.
The TV also stated that the rebels could not take control over the al-Ramuseh town, whose control would enable them to break the government forces’ siege on the rebel-held eastern part of Aleppo.
Still, battles are raging back and forth and the decisive results are yet to appear clearly.
Earlier in the day, the Syrian air force intensified airstrikes on the areas the rebels stormed inside the artillery college, also cutting all routes the rebels could possibly open into Aleppo city, the national Syrian TV said.
The opposition forces, who already control the countryside and areas southwest and east of Aleppo, said on Saturday that they now control the base in the Ramosa quarter in southwestern Aleppo.
The airstrikes destroyed tens of vehicles with their occupants on several routes that could lead the rebels into breaking the government siege on the eastern part of Aleppo city.
The report said the airstrikes isolated the battle sites in the vicinity of the military colleges in southern Aleppo, supporting the ground operations fought by the Syrian army against the sites infiltrated by the rebel groups in parts of the artillery college base.
“The airstrikes paralyzed the movement of the terrorist groups southwest of Aleppo, cutting by fire all routes into the city,” said the TV.
The fresh development came after an array of extremist groups, mainly the Fateh Army, succeeded to storm parts of the artillery college base in southern Aleppo, engaging in intense battles with the Syrian army in that base and the adjacent military colleges.
The aim of the rebels was to open a route from the al-Ramuseh town in southwest Aleppo into the besieged rebel-held areas in eastern Aleppo.
Last month, the Syrian army intensified battles against the rebels in Aleppo, cutting their last supply route into the eastern part of that city, in a bid to force them to surrender.
But battles flared as several rebel groups in Aleppo unleashed repeated attacks to break that siege.
(With inputs from IANS/Agencies)