by WorldTribune Staff, August 3, 2016
Syrian government forces launched a massive counter-attack to reclaim a number of strategic areas in the southwest suburbs of Aleppo on Aug. 2.
Backed by heavy Russian air support, Assad-regime forces took back a series of hilltops and villages on the southwest edges of Aleppo that had been seized by rebel groups on July 31, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.
The Observatory said 50 rebels and allied jihadists had been killed since the assault began, as well as dozens of regime troops.
“The regime is launching counter-attacks to absorb the fierce rebel offensive,” said Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman.
The Al-Watan daily, which is aligned with the Syrian government, reported on Aug. 3 that government forces “advanced again south and southwest of Aleppo because of the major setbacks” among rebel factions.
The rebel fighters, including those from Fateh Al Sham (Al Qaida’s former Syria affiliate Nusra Front), are seeking to capture Ramussa, a district in Aleppo’s southwest suburbs in a bid to cut off government forces and open a new route into the city for rebels.
More than 40 civilians have been killed in Aleppo since the rebel offensive began, the Observatory said.