Syrian army captures new rebel bastion in Aleppo

Damascus, Feb 5 (IANS) In its latest victory against militant groups, the Syrian army has fully captured the town of Ratyan in Aleppo province, the media reported on Friday.

According to a report by the pan-Arab al-Mayadeen TV, the capture of Ratyan is another blow to the Al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front in the northern countryside of Aleppo, where the Syrian army backed by the Lebanese Hezbollah group have been actively progressing, cutting off rebels from key supply lines from neighbouring Turkey, Xinhua news agency reported.

The report said the army is now advancing into the town of Mayer, to northwest of Ratyan.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Hezbollah and Iranian fighters of the Iranian Republican Guards were backing the Syrian troops in the latest push in northern Aleppo.

It added that the control of Ratyan came after heavy shelling and continued fire cover as well as airstrikes by the Russian and Syrian warplanes.

Capturing Ratyan and progressing into Mayer came after the Syrian army captured key towns in northern Aleppo, namely tDweir Zaitoun, Hardatnain, Tal Jbain, and Maraset al-Khan, all the way toward breaking the Nusra Front siege on the Shia towns of Nubbol and Zahraa.

Nubbol and Zahraa had been under the militants’ siege for over three years.

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