Syrian army recaptures key hilltop in Aleppo

Damascus, Oct 7 (IANS) The Syrian army on Friday recaptured a strategic hilltop, overlooking rebel-held districts in the northern city of Aleppo, as part of a recent offensive to flush out the rebels.

Capturing the Sheikh Saeed hill has enabled the army to overlook the rebel-held districts of Amiriyeh and Sukariyeh in Aleppo, Xinhua news agency cited reports as saying.

This advance is the latest in a series of victories the Syrian army has recently achieved in Aleppo, as part of the declared offensive to dislodge the insurgents from the rebel-held eastern part of the city.

A day earlier SANA news agency said the military forces captured areas in the rebel-held Bustan al-Basha neighbourhood and al-Sakhour area.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British watchdog group, said the recent progress of the army is the first in three years against the rebels in Aleppo.

On Thursday, UN Special Envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura made a new proposition, which basically focuses on freeing eastern Aleppo from the radical elements of the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, previously the Al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front, in an apparent move to reduce the Syrian military campaign in eastern Aleppo.

During the offensive in eastern Aleppo, the general command of the army urged the civilians to leave the rebel areas and reach the government-controlled ones in western Aleppo.

The army also offered amnesty to the rebels who surrender in Aleppo.

The offer was repeated several times over the past few weeks.

The situation in Aleppo has caused a rift between the US and Russia, with both expressing dismay at each other’s conduct regarding the situation.

Moscow has called for an emergency UN Security Council meeting on Friday, with Mistura making a statement about the situation in Aleppo, and possibly his new proposition.



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