Syrian army forces, backed by fighters from popular defense groups, have carried out a broad military operation against terrorists’ positions in Aleppo, and taken control of a strategic hilltop overlooking militant-held districts in the conflict-plagued northwestern city.
An unnamed military source told official SANA news agency on Friday that Syrian forces retook Sheikh Saeed hill from foreign-backed Takfiri militants, enabling army and pro-government government soldiers to observe all movements of extremists in Amiriyeh and Sukariyeh districts.
The achievement is the latest in a series of advances the Syrian army has recently made in Aleppo to dislodge militants from the eastern flank of the city, located some 355 kilometers north of the capital Damascus.
A day earlier, the Syrian military forces had established full control over Bustan al-Basha and al-Sakhour neighborhoods plus al-Bureij region in northern Aleppo.
Elsewhere, in the northern town of al-Dana, Syrian air force fighter jets struck a number of militant bases on Friday, leaving tens of Takfiris dead and injured.
Several vehicles belonging to the so-called Jaish al-Fatah (The Army of Conquest) militant group were also destroyed in Syrian air strikes on al-Zallaqiyat, Soran and Khunayfis villages in the western-central province of Hama.
Separately, Syrian army units targeted the positions of Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (formerly known as Nusra Front) terrorist outfit in al-Karak and Wadi al-Zaidi areas of Dara’a, located about 90 kilometers south of Damascus, killing many terrorists.
Double faced Russia ‘ready(?) to secure Nusra exit from Aleppo’
Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says Moscow is prepared to call on the Syrian government to allow the departure of Jabhat Fateh al-Sham militants from eastern Aleppo as proposed by UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura on Thursday.
“I heard his statement concerning only Nusra. For God’s sake, if Nusra leaves with weapons toward Idlib, where its main forces are based, we are ready to support this approach for the sake of Aleppo, and will be ready to urge the Syrian government to agree,” Lavrov said in an interview with Russia’s Channel One television network on Friday.
Militants remaining in Aleppo after the UN special envoy’s plan is enacted should be clearly separated from Nusra, the top Russian diplomat pointed out.
Terror attack kills 18 more civilians in Aleppo
In another development on Friday, two people, including a child, lost their lives and two others suffered injuries when terrorists fired 10 rockets at al-Midan neighborhood in Aleppo.
A source at Aleppo Police Command said the attack caused material damage to public and private properties in the targeted area as well.
Sixteen other people, including a family of four, were also killed in a militant shelling of Aleppo’s Bacha district. The attack also left over 80 others injured.
The conflict in Syria, which flared up in March 2011, has claimed the lives of more than 400,000 people, according to an estimate by the UN special envoy for Syria.