ALEPPO GAINS: Syrian state television reported Wednesday the Syrian army seized control of the Karam al-Qaser neighborhood near the Aleppo International Airport, six kilometers southeast of Aleppo. Pro-opposition media outlets have neither confirmed nor denied the claim.
The Syrian regime and Hezbollah fighters have held a bloody stalemate in place for the past year, retaining power at the Aleppo International Airport but unable to seize control of the surrounding neighborhoods until now. The Syrian Observatory reports that the regime has captured the Karam al-Qaser district.
“Our brave troops have liberated Karam al-Qaser at the al-Nairab junction, we are on the outskirts of Karam al-Turab, and we will expel the terrorists,” said one of the soldiers in the state television report.
The Syrian army launched its offensive from the al-Nairab Military Airport, striking west toward Karam al-Qaser, pro-regime newspaper al-Watan reported Wednesday, adding that Karam al-Turab was already in regime control.
Regime forces are “bringing life to Aleppo International Airport and the surrounding areas,” the soldier added. Civilian flights at the airport had been grounded for a year until the Syrian government flew in a group of Western journalists last week.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that violent clashes are continuing between Hezbollah forces and opposition groups in the Karam al-Turab neighborhood, near the al-Nairan military airport.
In December, the Syrian government came under heavy scrutiny for dropping barrel bombs on residential neighborhoods of Aleppo, Syria’s largest city. On January 19th, the Free Syrian Army rejected a truce in the city offered by Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem in a visit to Moscow.