Syrian army forces and allied fighters have regained control of a key district in Aleppo as efforts continue to purge the flashpoint northern city of Takfiri militants.
The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which advocates foreign-backed militants, said Thursday that Syrian soldiers managed to enter Ramouseh District, located south of Aleppo, advancing towards other militant-held areas east of the city.
Ramouseh was liberated after “ferocious clashes,” said the London-based group in a statement, adding, however, that the militants still held marginal positions in a residential complex and a school.
Meanwhile, Syria’s official SANA news agency said Russian fighter jets were providing air cover for the army battle southwards.
The recapture is a major blow to the militants, reversing the gains they made in the area last month.
Many anticipated the advance as reports had said earlier this week that volunteer forces had arrived south of the city to help the army in its battles.
Ramouseh fell to the militants in early August, enabling them to open a route via the area into other militant-held districts.
The recapture on Thursday would further deprive the Takfiris of the positions they were using to launch attacks on government-held districts west of Aleppo.
One such attack on Wednesday left at least 11 civilians dead in Sukkari District.
Aleppo has been divided since 2012 between government forces in the west and the Takfiri terrorists in the east. The Syrian forces have been engaged in a major operation to liberate the militant-held areas of the city as well as the province with the same name.
The battle for Aleppo is a complex one as the government is engaged in fighting with an array of foreign-backed militants.
Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura estimates that over 400,000 people have been killed in the conflict.
Back in 2014, the UN said it would no more update its official death toll for Syria because it could not verify the figures that it received from various sources.