16 Syrian soldiers killed in clashes with al-Qaida affiliates in Aleppo

December 17, 2014 10:50 pm 

DAMASCUS, Dec. 17 — At least 16 Syrian soldiers were killed in intense clashes with the al-Qaida-affiliated groups in the northern province of Aleppo, a monitoring group reported Wednesday.

The soldiers were killed during intense clashes overnight with the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front and other jihadist groups in Aleppo, the Syrian Observatory for Human Right said, adding that the Nusra militants progressed in an area called al-Malah Orchards in the northern part of Aleppo while the government troops recaptured two areas at the northeastern entrance of Aleppo.

The Syrian air force also shelled rebel positions in northwestern part of Aleppo, said the Observatory.

The Syrian troops have recently made notable progress in Aleppo, capturing areas that could enable them to tighten a siege on rebel-held areas in the key city, which was once called the economic hub of Syria.

The UN special envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, recently proposed a notion of "frozen areas" and cease-fire in Aleppo to be a prelude for broader cessation of violence in the war-torn country.

The Syrian leadership said the initiative was "worth studying" and since then the Syrian army achieved progress to hold broader positions before the implementation of Mistura's plan. (PNA/Xinhua)

LAM/RSM

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