Damascus (AFP) – Syria’s army scored its second important victory in two days ahead of international talks in Vienna, but the US warned a deal is unlikely without agreement over the fate of President Bashar al-Assad.
Bolstered by the launch of Russian air strikes in Syria in late September, Assad’s forces have launched a series of offensives to regain ground lost in the country’s bloody, four-year civil war. […]
A military source told AFP that regime soldiers, supported by troops from the Shiite Hezbollah movement and Iran, were in “full control” of Al-Hader, a town around 25 kilometres (15 miles) south of Syria’s second city Aleppo.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor confirmed regime forces had taken control of large parts of Al-Hader, which had been largely controlled by Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front and other allied Islamist groups
“The town is the biggest headquarters for rebel forces in southern Aleppo, and capturing it would bring the army closer to the key Aleppo-Damascus highway,” Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said.
The Britain-based monitoring group said both Syrian and Russian warplanes were carrying out strikes in the area, and the regime forces and their allies have advanced west to the town of Al-Eis.
“Today’s advance is the most important strategic advance for Syrian regime forces since the Russians began their air strikes,” Abdel Rahman said.
“The area is key because it is elevated and if they capture it they will have line of fire sight over the Aleppo-Damascus highway.”
Regime forces on Tuesday entered the Kweyris military base, breaking an IS siege that had lasted for more than a year. […]