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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Syrian forces, militants bolster ranks before battle of Aleppo

Iran Press TV

Mon Aug 8, 2016 8:43PM

Syrian government troops and militants besieged in Aleppo are bracing for a final battle to gain control of the city, says a UK-based monitoring group.

"Both sides are amassing their fighters in preparation for the great battle of Aleppo," said the head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights Rami Abdel Rahman on Monday.

Some 2,000 soldiers have joined the ranks of government troops, who have besieged militant-held areas in the northwestern Syrian city, he added.

A report published is Syria's al-Watan daily also noted that the army had received "the necessary military reinforcements to launch the battle to retake the areas from which it withdrew," adding that, a crucial attack on the terrorists was "imminent... and inevitable."

In the meantime, the foreign-backed militants are calling in support from other parts of the country in an attempt to bolster their ranks before the battle.

Over the last few days, fierce clashes have been underway in and around the northern Syrian city between government forces and terrorists trying to end a siege on militant-held areas. Aleppo has been divided since 2012 between government forces in the west and the militants in the east.

According to military sources, large numbers of terrorists have been killed and many others have sustained injuries in heavy fighting over the past few days. A large number of vehicles as well as equipment belonging to the militants have also been destroyed.

Russian bombs hit terrorists near Palmyra

Meanwhile, Russia's Defense Ministry has announced that bombers launched from Russian soil carried out successful strikes against Daesh targets near the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra.

"On August 8, 2016, six Tu-22M3 long-range bombers, coming from Russian territory, performed a concentrated airstrike with high-explosive ammunition against the facilities of Daesh in areas east and northwest of Palmyra, near the settlements of Es Sukhne and Arak," said a statement released by the ministry.

It noted that a Takfiri headquarters and a large training camp were destroyed in the raids.

"In the area surrounding Palmyra and Arak, control centers, underground storage of ammunition and weaponry, three infantry fighting vehicles, 12 off-road vehicles with heavy machine guns and a large number of enemy personnel were destroyed," said the statement.

The Syrian army, backed by volunteer forces and Russian air cover, wrested back control of Palmyra from Takfiri militants on March 27 following four weeks of military operations against Daesh.

On September 30, 2015, Russia launched an air campaign against Daesh and other terrorist groups upon a request by the Damascus government. Later in mid-March, the bulk of Russian military forces were withdrawn from Syria.

Elsewhere in the country, Syrian forces retook the strategic Shilif Castle which overlooks the Kinsabba mountain range in the western province of Latakia.

The castle was cleared of militants after fierce fighting broke out between government forces and militants in the town of Kinsabba.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura estimates that over 400,000 people have been killed in the conflict.

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