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Syrian army advances to besiege Aleppo city

English.news.cn   2014-07-08 22:38:54

DAMASCUS, July 8 (Xinhua) -- The Syrian army is working to fully besiege the rebel-held areas in the northwestern city of Aleppo, as part of the ongoing military operation against the rebel groups there, a senior military source told Xinhua on Tuesday.

"The military operations are ongoing to complete the siege on Aleppo and the army is dealing with terrorists positions wherever they are located," the military officer told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

He said the majority of the areas in Aleppo are under control of the Syrian army.

Asked whether the Syrian troops have completed their siege, the officer said the military hasn't announced that yet, adding that the troops are working on that currently.

The remarks came just a day after sources in the Syrian opposition said that the Syrian government troops besieged Aleppo in a bid to storm the rebel-held areas there.

Opposition activists have warned of the government troops' bid to storm the city following the troops' successive victories at the northeastern entrance of Aleppo, namely the army's recapture of the Industrial City north of Aleppo.

Activists said the Syrian troops are on the verge of recapturing a military position in northeastern Aleppo, which would pave the way for them to storm rebel-held towns in the northern countryside of Aleppo and cut the logistic supply line of the rebels from neighboring Turkey.

Meanwhile, the oppositional Syrian National Coalition (SNC), the main opposition umbrella in exile, said that Aleppo has become besieged by the Syrian troops.

Luai Safi, the media spokesman of the SNC, said the military situation is so critical in Aleppo for the rebels, contributing his pessimism about the decline of the rebels in many Syrian areas to the "lack of the international community's seriousness in supporting the Syrian opposition."

The official SANA news agency said Tuesday that the Syrian troops killed and eliminated positions of the rebels in a total of 24 areas in Aleppo and its countryside.

Earlier in the day, the pro-government al-Watan newspaper said the Syrian troops "paralyzed" the movement of the armed militant groups in the northern countryside of Aleppo after dealing " precise blows" against their positions and supply lines.

"The Syrian troops have a valuable bank of targets that includes positions, itineraries and the supply lines of the rebel groups and their leadership," said the paper.

It also said that the Syrian air force carried out airstrikes on arms depots in Aleppo, adding that a lot of militants in Aleppo want to establish contact with the government to achieve national reconciliation akin to what happened in the capital Damascus and the central city of Homs, where the government troops' months-long siege on rebel-held areas pushed the rebels to drop their weapons and surrender themselves to the authorities.

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 several jihadist groups are deadlocked in 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, which erupted over control of strategic sites and facilities, mainly oil plants in eastern Syria.

Editor: An
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