ALEPPO – Syrian rebels on Saturday launched an offensive on the forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad in the southern countryside of Aleppo, northern Syria, in a bid to repel the latter’s progress, military sources reported.
Rebels of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and allied Islamist factions gained control of several villages and thwarted the regime’s advance in the southern countryside of Aleppo.
At least 13 pro-Assad troops were killed in the offensive.
Speaking to ARA News in Aleppo, rebel spokesman Mustafa Suleiman said that several rebel factions, including al-Sham Rebels Front, al-Sham Corps, Operation Chamber of Fatih Halab, Ahrar al-Sham Movement and al-Nusra Front launched a fierce offensive on the Syrian army forces south of Aleppo.
“The rebels seized control of the villages of Barna and Barqum, among others, killing 13 soldiers of the regime’s army.
Pro-Assad army was supported by Shiite militants of Lebanese Hezbollah and Iraqi Najbaa group in Saturday’s operation.
“We have taken three militants of Hezbollah and four fighters of the Iraqi Shiite Najbaa group as hostages in the operation,” Suleiman told ARA News, pointing out that clashes continued between rebel forces and pro-Assad troops until Saturday evening in the vicinity of al-Ais and al-Hader towns south of Aleppo.
“We are close to recapture al-Hader town from Assad’s thugs,” he added.
Over the past two weeks, pro-regime forces, backed by a Russian air cover, were able to gain control of several strategic locations and hills in the southern countryside of Aleppo.
Reporting by: Taim Khalil
Source: ARA News