Syrian Government Forces Recapture Areas in Southwest Aleppo

A blueprint for a political transition in Syria, due to be presented by an opposition group in London on Wednesday, offers the first credible picture of a peaceful Syria without President Bashar al-Assad, Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said

BEIRUT, Sept 4  – Syrian government forces and their allies recaptured areas in southwestern Aleppo on Sunday which rebels seized last month, after heavy bombardments and repeated attempts to drive the insurgents back, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.

The areas recaptured included the Weaponry College and the Air Force Technical College in the Ramousah area on the city’s southwestern outskirts, the British-based Observatory said.

Rebels captured those areas last month in an assault that broke through a government siege on Aleppo’s opposition-held eastern sector. Recapturing all the territory gained by insurgents in that assault would effectively re-impose the siege.

A rebel official said earlier on Sunday government forces had entered the Weaponry College but battles were ongoing there.

Rebels could not immediately be reached for comment on the government side’s latest gains.

President Bashar al-Assad, who is backed by Russia, Iran and the powerful Lebanese Shi’ite group Hezbollah, wants to recapture the whole of Aleppo, Syria’s biggest city before the five-year conflict.

Moscow’s intervention last year turned the war in Assad’s favor in many areas, but rebels have made some gains including in Aleppo and in Hama province, further south.

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