DAMASCUS, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- Syria's troops have secured the vicinity of the international airport of the northern city of Aleppo, a pro-government daily said Wednesday, adding that the airport is likely to resume operations by mid-March.
The troops have advanced into the surrounding of the airport at a depth of seven kilometers, a pace sufficient for ensuring the resumption of air trafficking soon, al-Watan said, quoting Syrian Airline officials as saying flights to the airport are expected to resume by mid March.
The fight for Aleppo's airport and adjacent al-Nairab airbase has been going on since a month ago when the rebels escalated their offensives in hopes of taking control of both strategic facilities to tilt the battle in their advantage.
The rebels also stormed Brigade 80 base responsible for the airport and the military airfield.
Meanwhile, al-Watan said more than 100 rebels were killed overnight Monday in attempt to attack the capital Damascus by staging two blasts at al-Qaboun area.
"They have practically committed mass suicides at the entrance of Damascus that will stay impregnable," the paper said.
Monday's attack was the rebels' fifth futile attempt to break into Damascus, the seat of President Bashar al-Assad's administration.
Western media recently said that Saudi Arabia was sending arms to the rebels in hopes of shifting the battle's focus from Aleppo to Damascus in order to wobble the Assad's grip on power in the capital.
Both the government and the opposition consider the fight for Damascus the most likely endgame of Syria's 23-month-old conflict.