Syrian ground troops advanced northward into the al-Malah farms area outside of the major northern city of Aleppo, capturing another important territory and nearly surrounding the last rebel-held districts within Aleppo itself.
Once the industrial and financial capital of Syria, Aleppo was supposed to be the decisive battle early in the Syrian Civil War. The battle has stalemated, for years, and the city’s infrastructure largely destroyed.
Rebel factions and the Assad government each control considerable parts of the city, but the military has now nearly surrounded the city itself, which would cut the rebels off from supply lines.
The UN has been trying to negotiate a ceasefire in the city, which after years of fighting is a humanitarian disaster. Western officials have opposed this on the grounds that it would leave the situation stalemated with the Syrian military holding its current advantage, yet without the ceasefire it seems they may soon have the city surrounded at any rate, leaving its fall only a matter of time.