Syrian Rebels Advance on Northern Army-Held Town
Syrian rebels advanced on the northern town of Khan al-Assal on Saturday, activists said, and appeared close to seizing one of the last towns in western part of Aleppo province still held by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.
The army has been attempting a slow build-up of troops around the province in order to retake Aleppo city, once Syria’s biggest commercial hub. So far Assad’s push has been dogged by rebel counter-attacks, although a string of government victories elsewhere in Syria has shifted the battlefield tide in his favor after more than two years of bloodshed.
Elsewhere in northern Syria, Assad’s forces launched a third day of heavy air strikes on the town of Saraqeb in Idlib province. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that by late afternoon, jets had already flown 12 raids over the town. Initial counts said five had been killed on Saturday, three of them children.