Syrian government forces celebrate in the largely deserted Palestinian refugee camp of Handarat, north of Aleppo, on September 24, 2016 after they recaptured the facility. (Photo by AFP)
Syrian government troops have managed to liberate a central neighborhood in the divided city of Aleppo in their latest push against foreign-backed militants who are wreaking havoc in the war-stricken country.
Syrian state TV reported on Tuesday the recapture by government forces of Farafra neighborhood, situated in the old quarter of Aleppo near the city’s famous citadel.
An unnamed military source also confirmed the advance, saying, “The army retook control of all of the Farafra district … after neutralizing many terrorists. Units are now demining the area.”
The Farafra liberation “comes as a continuation of the military operation … that includes an aerial component and an artillery and ground component,” the source added.
Meanwhile, the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), a UK-based monitoring group, confirmed Tuesday’s advance by Syrian government forces against terrorists in central Aleppo as part of a major offensive launched last week.
A week-long ceasefire, brokered by Russia and the US, came to an end across Syria
on September 19.
Damascus refused to extend the deal after deadly US-led airstrikes on its military base near the eastern city Dayr al-Zawr in violation of the agreement.
Following the truce, Syria announced the start of a new military operation in Aleppo aimed at driving out the terrorists occupying the eastern flanks of the strategic city.
Syria campaign continues until terrorists eliminated: Official
In another development on Tuesday, a Syrian military official told The Associated Press that the operation in Aleppo will not stop before “terrorist groups” have been eliminated.
Syrian government forces walk amidst debris in the largely deserted Palestinian refugee camp of Handarat, north of Aleppo, on September 24, 2016 after they recaptured the facility. (Photo by AFP)
The official, who was speaking on condition of anonymity, noted that battles will continue daily on all fronts in Aleppo until the “terrorists” in the “eastern parts of the city are wiped out.”
Aleppo, Syria’s second largest city, has been divided since 2012 between government forces in the west and foreign-backed terrorists in the east, making it a frontline battleground.
Syria has been gripped by foreign-sponsored militancy over the past five and a half years.
The SOHR and United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura have put the death toll from the Syria conflict at more than 300,000 and over 400,000, respectively.
This is while the UN has stopped its official casualty count in Syria, citing its inability to verify the figures it receives from various sources.