Syrian Rebels Seize Key Town on Aleppo-Damascus Highway

Move Cuts Aleppo Off From Reinforcements

by Jason Ditz, October 09, 2012

Syrian rebel fighters have reportedly seized the strategically important town of Maaret al-Numan today, with report that government forces have withdrawn from all checkpoints in the area except for the one at the entrance.

The town has been contested for months, and the military had been effectively in control since June. The town, in the Idlib Province, lies of the highway between Aleppo and the capital city of Damascus, effectively cutting Aleppo off from reinforcements.

Aleppo has been the site of some of the bloodiest fighting for over a month now, with both rebels and regime predicting a quick victory but instead seeing a stalemate, bringing Syria’s largest city and industrial capital to a standstill as much of it is now a constant open-fire zone.

As Syria’s most important city, Aleppo of course has more than one highway leading to it, so it is unclear how important losing the one to Damascus will be for regime forces there. Still, the move suggests the rebels are trying to make inroads in Syria’s supply routes.

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