Syria army retakes town north of Aleppo

Syria army retakes town north of Aleppo
Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:04:32

Syrian troops have seized a militant-held town north of Aleppo governorate and pushed toward parts of Aleppo city, activists say.

"Government forces have taken over the area of Naqarin and are advancing towards the industrial area of Aleppo city," said the Aleppo Media Centre Saturday.

"This advance is clearly a result of the rebels being busy fighting the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)," activist Nazeer al-Khatib told AFP.

The army's moves come eight days after extremists and militants fighting to topple the Syrian government launched a major offensive against ISIL.

On Saturday, ISIL terrorists fought pitched battles with other militants in the northwestern town of Saraqeb and seized the frontier town of Tal Abyad on the border with Turkey after militants pulled out, a monitoring group said.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said militants launched an offensive to push ISIL out of Saraqeb, the extremists’ last bastion in the western province of Idlib.

They "took over most of the town, and besieged hundreds of ISIL fighters," said Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman.

During the day a car bomb exploded in Saraqeb near an extremists’ checkpoint, killing two commanders, the Observatory said.

ISIL militants also battled militants in the northern city of Raqqa, where they captured a train station and a checkpoint run by other militants, said the Observatory.

The corpses of dozens of ISIL militants were found in a Raqqa hospital, the monitoring group said.

Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. More than 120,000 people have been killed and millions of others displaced in the violence.

According to reports, Western powers and their regional allies, especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, support the militants operating inside Syria.


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