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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Syrian army tightens noose on militant-held town in Aleppo

Iran Press TV

Sun Feb 7, 2016 6:13PM

The Syrian army and its allied forces are pushing ahead with a major offensive against a militant-held town in the northern province of Aleppo near the Turkish border.

The government troops are just seven kilometers away from the town of Tal Rifaat, which is located around 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) from the Turkish frontier, the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported on Sunday.

Rami Abdel Rahman, the director of the SOHR, said that the Syrian government troops intend to push north to the border with Turkey to stop the flow of militant recruits and weapons into the Arab country.

The strategic town is considered the last militant stronghold in the volatile border region. Syria's Arabic-language newspaper al-Watan has said that the recapture of Tal Rifaat would be a major blow to the militants.

Meanwhile, the Syrian army backed by allied forces also took full control of a strategic hilltop in the Eastern countryside of Aleppo. The Barlaheen hilltop came under army control after daylong clashes with the terrorists.

Syrian fighter jets bombed militant hideouts in the Rasm al-Alam and al-Sin villages in the troubled region over the past hours.

The Syrian military backed by volunteer forces has recently inflicted heavy losses on foreign-backed militants during mop-up operations on different fronts. Over the past few weeks, the Syrian forces have also gained more ground against militants north of Latakia.

Syria has blamed Turkey for the bulk of the chaos in its northern provinces, including in Latakia and Aleppo, saying Ankara overtly trains and funds militants who enter those areas.

The conflict in Syria began in March 2011 and has reportedly claimed the lives of more than 260,000 people.

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