Syria sends thousands of reinforcements to fight in Aleppo
Aug.9, Aleppo: The Syrian government has sent thousands of reinforcements to mount a counterattack in Aleppo after rebels broke through government lines two days earlier, according to a monitoring group.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said that the Lebanese Shia Hezbollah movement and the government have mobilised more than 3,000 troops and militia fighters for an attempt to recapture the areas where the rebels made their breakthrough.
According to Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the group, "Hundreds of opposition fighters have also arrived in Aleppo from the [neighbouring] province of Idlib to help in the expected battles."
Hezbollah's battle-hardened fighters have provided crucial support to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's overstretched and exhausted army.
Syrian state news agency SANA said government planes carried out "intensive strikes" on what it called "terrorist movements" south of Aleppo.
The government also acted to quell fears that rebel advances would cut supply lines to government-held western Aleppo. SANA quoted provincial governor Mohammed Marwan al-Oulabi as saying that all essential goods and fuel were still available in the area.
The influx of pro-government troops comes as the rebel Army of Conquest coalition vowed that a "new stage" in its offensive would aim to "liberate all of Aleppo."
The group, a coalition that includes Jabhat Fatah al-Sahm (formerly the al-Nusra Front), first broke a government siege on the rebel-held half of the city on Sunday, and has reportedly doubled its number of fighters in an effort to retake the entire city, Al Jazeera reported.
The Oslo Times International News Network