DAMASCUS, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- The Syrian army has started a ground operation and entered several key districts in the northern Aleppo province, local media reported Thursday.
The Syrian troops started at dawn Wednesday the wide-scale ground operation, during which they have managed to regain control of the Salahuddien neighborhood of Aleppo, pro-government al-Watan daily said.
The paper said hundreds of armed insurgents have been killed and their hideouts in the troublesome district have also been knocked out.
It added that purging the Salahuddien district completely would probably take a few days, given the sprawling structure of the area and its very narrow alleys. The army is facing great challenges in Salahuddien due to the intense presence of snipers, it said.
The army has worked over the past days on besieging the city of Aleppo completely and cutting the supply lines that have been opened from Turkey, in order to prevent the escape of armed groups from the city, the paper said.
Meanwhile, the Lebanese NBN TV reported that the so-called Free Syrian Army insurgents has declared their retreat from Salahuddien.
According to state-run news agency SANA, tens of "terrorists" were killed or wounded Thursday in Bustan al-Basha area in Aleppo province.
"Armed terrorist groups" tried to force residents out of their houses, said SANA, adding that clashes occurred mainly around the strongholds of the armed men.
The army units entered Thursday the districts of Bab al-Nasr, Sabe Bahrat, Bab Hanin and Bab al-Hadid, as well as the commercial markets in Aleppo, said SANA, adding that residents in those areas have "welcomed the deployment of the army and expressed their support to it to purge their districts from terrorists."
SANA also reported Thursday that border guards foiled overnight an infiltration attempt from Lebanon into Syria in Noura on the outskirts of Talkalakh in Homs, with casualties among the " terrorists" reported.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said military reinforcements including three tanks, troop carriers and hundreds of soldiers were delivered to the surroundings of Nady al- Dubat (the officers club) next to Sa'ad Allah al-Jabiri square in Aleppo.
It said the neighborhoods of al-Sakhoor, al-Sha'ar, Masaken Hanano, Tareek al-Bab and Salaheddin have been bombarded by the government forces, adding that in the countryside of Aleppo, the rebel forces have taken control over a police station in the town of al-Hader.
It also reported that three unidentified citizens were shot by unidentified gunmen in the town of Kafar Halab.
The observatory said the city of Tel Rif'at is being violently bombarded by the government forces, which are targeting in their attack the funeral procession of Ayman Ahmad Aleito, a rebel commander who died Thursday during the clashes in the Salahuddien neighborhood of Aleppo.
The Aleppo clashes started two weeks ago when the armed rebels announced their battle to "liberate Aleppo."
Both the rebels and government forces have seen the battles in Aleppo as fateful due to the importance of the province on the frontier with Turkey.
DAMASCUS, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- The Syrian troops killed hundreds of armed insurgents on Wednesday in the northern city Aleppo, but the military gains were clouded by the entry into Jordan of former Syrian Prime Minister Riyad Hijab. Full story
DAMASCUS, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) -- Incessant battles between armed rebels and government troops continued in a number ofSyrian cities on Tuesday while embattled President Bashar al-Assad stressed the government's and the people's resolution to eradicate "terrorists" in the country.
The state news agency SANA said clashes took place Tuesday in Homs, Hama, Deir al-Zour, Hasaka and Aleppo provinces. Full story