DAMASCUS, July 3 (Xinhua) -- The Syrian government forces on Thursday fully recaptured an industrial city in the northern province of Aleppo, according to the pan-Arab al-Mayadeen TV.
The troops recaptured the city in the Sheikh Najjar area on the eastern outskirts of Aleppo city after clashes with jihadist groups, mainly the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front. The army is also advancing into other areas in Sheikh Najjar as rebels' withdrew from that part of the city.
Activists said that Syrian troops carried out more than 20 airstrikes against the city to dislodge the rebels there.
Aleppo, once called Syria's economic hub, has been plagued in intense battles between government troops and an array of jihadist groups. The western part of the city is still under government control, while the rebels seized the eastern part.
The Syrian troops' fresh advancement came as the Nusra Front was deadlocked in deadly battles against the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant in Aleppo and areas in eastern Syria.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based watchdog group, said more than 7,000 rebels and civilians have been killed since earlier this year as a result of the rebel-on- rebel battles.