Pro-Assad forces advance in Aleppo as Russia steps up strikes on rebels’ positions

Assad in a visit to his military forces in Homs, central Syria. File photo

ARA News 

ALEPPO – Backed by Russian air cover, the pro-regime forces regained the town of al-Widehi in the southern countryside of Aleppo after the withdrawal of Syrian rebel groups, military sources reported on Monday.

Syrian rebels retreated from the town under heavy bombardment and shelling.

Speaking to ARA News in Aleppo, rebel fighter Mustafa Suleiman confirmed that pro-Assad troops were able to seize al-Widehi town after the withdrawal of the armed opposition forces under heavy airstrikes on Sunday midnight.

“We have withdrawn under a heavy aerial and artillery bombardment on the town by pro-Assad forced and Russian warplanes,” he said, adding that more than two dozen airstrikes have hit the town before their withdrawal. 

“The bombardment led to the death of at least three civilians,” the source told ARA News.

Suleiman pointed out that the regime forces seized control of al-Widehi in a bid to block the opposition supply lines between the cities of Aleppo and Hama, paralyzing rebels’ movement.

“Regime’s troops was able to isolate Aleppo’s south from the west, advancing to the northern countryside of Idlib,” he added.

Pro-regime forces received additional reinforcements in the southern front of Aleppo and have gained control of several key villages in the southern countryside.

Despite the big losses in the ranks of the regime’s forces over the past few weeks in Aleppo, the Russian air support assisted them to advance in the province. 

Reporting by: Taim Khalil

Source: ARA News

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