Syrian Forces Make Gains in Fighting Around Aleppo

Counterattack Retakes Two Villages, Key Hilltops From Rebels

by Jason Ditz, August 03, 2016

Indications are that the most recent offensive by the Nusra Front-led rebels in northern Syria, aiming to relieve the siege of their half of Aleppo, has stalled, with a counter-offensive by the Syrian military launched overnight recovering considerable territory around the area, including two villages and a pair of key hilltops.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, about 50 rebels have been killed in this latest fighting, along with dozens of Syrian military personnel and an estimated 40 civilian bystanders. As usual for this region, the civilians seem to be absorbing a large number of casualties whenever the fighting nears populated areas.

Aleppo has been contested for several years, with the military and Nusra the primary factions within since February. The two sides have fought heavily off and on, and a few weeks ago the Nusra half of the city lost its last supply road to a military offensive.

Though Nusra has claimed they have many months of supplies to resist the siege of east Aleppo, they have tried some major efforts to recover the road since losing it, and don’t appear to be content to wait out the situation. Either way, the military remains in the stronger position in this area.

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