Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Syrian Regime Tightens its Grip on Aleppo | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Fighting and aerial bombardment has not subsided in most areas, despite it being the second day of the truce announced by the Syrian regime. Government forces have managed to tighten their grip on the eastern neighbourhoods in the city of Aleppo, bringing them the closest so far to the Al-Castello Road which is now within firing range, and putting around 250,000 people under siege.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that forces loyal to the regime have made advances in Al-Mallah farms, northwest Aleppo and this has brought them to within one kilometre of the road.

The Syrian army said that “terrorist groups” tried to attack military positions in the region, and that it thwarted this attack and gained control of the Al-Mallah farms. It added that the Al-Castello Road is now within its firing range.

Pro-regime TV channels showed footage of tanks, troops firing and the areas captured, which consisted of flat farmland and a number of buildings reduced to rubble.

A rebel official with fighters in the area said: “All the factions sent reinforcements and are trying to take back the positions taken by the regime, but the situation is very bad. There was heavy regime air cover in the night.”

Heavy aerial and artillery bombardment had at times made the Castello Road impassable. However, yesterday’s advance brings government forces the closest so far to the road which means that it is now easier for government forces to target it, effectively cutting off the opposition-held sector of the city near the Turkish border.