Syrian government forces gather in the deserted refugee camp of Handarat, north of Aleppo, on September 24, 2016. (Photo by AFP)
Syrian government troops have engaged in fierce clashes with foreign-backed militants in Aleppo, as they continence their push to recapture the terrorist-held districts of the key town.
Army soldiers managed to fully clear the Handarat refugee camp of militants and recaptured nearby Kindi Hospital north of Aleppo on Friday morning, according to Lebanon-based al-Manar television.
The report said the troops, backed by government airstrikes, continued advancing in Aleppo’s eastern parts. The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also confirmed that the government forces were edging closer to the city.
By retaking Handarat, Syrian troops pushed terrorists further away from the Castello Road, a main artery leading to the occupied parts of the city.
According to an unnamed Syrian military official, the airstrikes against militants in Aleppo would continue, adding that the operations “include a ground offensive” into terrorist-held areas.
The official quoted by the Syrian TV, said many militants were killed in the battle, adding that experts were removing explosives from the liberated areas.
Syrian government forces are seen on September 28, 2016 in the Farafira district, northwest of Aleppo. (Photo by AFP)
Meanwhile, at least four civilians were killed and ten others wounded in a rocket attack from the militant-held Sulaiman and al-Halabi neighborhoods of Aleppo.
The fierce fighting continues as diplomats in New York have failed to salvage a ceasefire mediated by the United States and Russia.
The ceasefire, which lasted for only one week, came to an end on September 19.
Damascus, however, refused to extend it after US-led air raids killed 83 of its army forces and wounded some 100 others at a military base in the eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr in violation of the truce.
Syrian forces, backed by Russian air raids, has been engaged in large-scale military operations across the country in recent months.
On Friday, the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said over 5,000 Takfiri militants have been killed in the Russian aerial campaign, which began last September. The group also claimed some 3,800 civilians have also died in the raids.
‘More Russian bombers in Syria’
Meanwhile, Russian media says Moscow has deployed group of Su-24 and Su-34 bombers to the Hmeimim airbase in Syria’s Latakia Province.
“If need be, the air force group will be (further) built up within two to three days,” Russia’s Izvestia daily quoted an unnamed military official as saying.
“Su-25 ground attack fighters designated to be sent to Hmeymim have already been selected in their units and their crews are on a stand-by, awaiting orders from their commanders,” the source added.
The Russian Defense Ministry has not made any comments the report so far.