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Syrian opposition claims to have broken Aleppo Govt siege

7th Aug 2016
Syrian opposition claims to have broken Aleppo Govt siege

By Mohamed Misto and Halit Suleyman

 

ALEPPO,  (AA): The Syrian opposition said Saturday that anti-Govt fighters has broken a government siege on opposition-held areas in the northern city of Aleppo.

Jaish al-Fatah (Army of Conquest) fighters seized control of regime positions in Ramousa area in southern Aleppo, opening the route to opposition-held neighborhoods in the city, opposition sources told Anadolu Agency, requesting anonymity due to security concerns.

Jaish al-Fatah contains seven members, three of themal – Nusra, Ahrar al-Sham, and Jund al-Aqsa – are directly connected to Al-Qaeda or have a similar ideology. With Ahrar ash-Sham being the largest group, al-Nusra and Ahrar ash-Sham together are reported to represent 90 percent of the troops. Another prominent Islamist faction in the operations room is the Muslim Brotherhood of Syria – linked Sham Legion (Faylaq Al-Sham). Jaish al-Fatah collaborated with more moderate Free Syrian Army factions such as Knights of Justice Brigade.

According to the sources, groups of opposition fighters have arrived into besieged neighborhoods in Aleppo.

“Clashes are still raging on in Ramousa outskirts between regime forces and opposition groups, which are trying to widen their control,” the sources said.

On Friday, opposition fighters in Aleppo captured a regime school regarded as one of the most significant strongholds of the Bashar al-Assad’s forces in the contested city.

According to opposition sources, some 150 regime forces were killed in the opposition offensive to break the siege, including fighters from Iran, Iraq and Lebanon’s Shia Hezbollah group.

In February, the Syrian regime cut the supply route between Aleppo’s northern countryside and opposition-held eastern neighborhood.

In early July, regime forces moved to cut the Castello Road, which links the contested city of Aleppo with opposition-held Idlib, imposing a total blockade on opposition-controlled areas in Aleppo.

Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests — which erupted as part of the “Arab Spring” uprisings — with unexpected ferocity.

Since then, more than a quarter of a million people have been killed and more than 10 million displaced across the war-battered country, according to the UN.

The Syrian Center for Policy Research puts the death toll from the six-year conflict at more than 470,000 people.

 

[Photo: Members of anti-regime opposition forces group named Jaish al-Fatah are seen after they took the control of artillery school back from Assad regime forces in Aleppo, Syria on August 6, 2016. [Photographer: Ahmed Muhammed Ali/AA]

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