March 3, 2015
By Osama Abu Zeid and Dan Wilkofsky
AMMAN: The Syrian regime is massing forces in the northern Aleppo countryside in preparation for the second stage of their campaign to complete the encirclement of rebel-held areas inside Aleppo city, a journalist with pro-regime channel al-Mayadeen told Syria Direct Tuesday.
“The Syrian army will complete its battles to take control of the area north of Aleppo, encircle the militants and break the siege on Nubul and Zahra,” Ridha al-Basha told Syria Direct.
“The second stage will involve more firepower and more infantry.”
Syrian forces prepare to storm Aleppo on Tuesday. Photo courtesy of AMC.
Famed regime general Suheil al-Hassan, nicknamed “The Tiger,” has arrived in Aleppo in addition to hundreds of members of the elite Republican Guard, al-Basha said.
Meanwhile, large numbers of Nusra fighters headed to the northern Aleppo front Tuesday, wrote pro-opposition field reporter Majd Abdul Nur on Facebook.
They are “preparing for an attack on regime positions,” Abdul Nur told Syria Direct Tuesday.
The Syrian regime began its initial attempt to complete the encirclement of Aleppo in mid-February by capturing three villages in the northern countryside—cutting off rebel supply routes running south into the city—and initiating attacks on locations just north and west of the city.
The rebels have since recaptured two of those villages and reopened supply lines into the city, while the third village, Bashkuy, is still in regime hands.
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