Aleppo bat­tle in ‘fi­nal phase’

Kuwait Times - - FRONT PAGE -

ALEPPO: The cru­cial bat­tle for Aleppo en­tered its “fi­nal phase” yes­ter­day af­ter Syr­ian rebels re­treated into a small pocket of their for­mer bas­tion in the face of new army ad­vances. Pres­i­dent Bashar al-As­sad’s forces held more than 90 per­cent of the one­time op­po­si­tion strong­hold of east Aleppo, a mon­i­tor and mil­i­tary of­fi­cial said, and ap­peared on the verge of re­tak­ing the en­tire city. A Syr­ian mil­i­tary of­fi­cial in Aleppo told AFP the “op­er­a­tion in eastern neigh­bor­hoods is en­ter­ing its fi­nal phase”, as fierce clashes were re­ported in the few districts still un­der rebel con­trol.

The fall of Aleppo would be the worst rebel de­feat since Syria’s con­flict be­gan in 2011, and leave the gov­ern­ment in con­trol of the coun­try’s five ma­jor ci­ties. The Syr­ian Ob­ser­va­tory for Hu­man Rights mon­i­tor­ing group re­ported that the army had cap­tured south­east Aleppo’s large Sheikh Saeed district. Syr­ian of­fi­cial me­dia con­firmed Sheikh Saeed had been re­taken, with state tele­vi­sion show­ing what it said was live footage from the neigh­bor­hood.

— AFP

ALEPPO: Fight­ers of the Free Syr­ian Army fire an anti-air­craft weapon in the re­bel­held Mash­had area yes­ter­day as they bat­tle Syr­ian gov­ern­ment forces dur­ing an op­er­a­tion to re­take the em­bat­tled city.

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