Tel Arn falls as regime forces press toward Aleppo
November 12, 2013
FALLING DOMINO: “We found 800 explosive devices, dozens of anti-tank mines, 3 mortar launchers, and 3 rocket launchers,” a military source told official Syrian news agency SANA Tuesday after regime forces seized control of the town of Tel Arn in the southern suburbs of Aleppo Monday, continuing an advance that threatens rebel control of Aleppo International Airport.
The advance into Tel Arn Monday, broadcast on Iranian television station Al Alam, extends a string of victories for regime forces aided by Hezbollah fighters and Iranian Revolutionary Guards as they approach rebel-held Aleppo via its alternative southern route from Hama. After a month of heavy fighting, government troops took control of Al Safira on October 31st and last week seized the village of Aziziya.
“Capturing Tel Arn will cause the fall of terrorist groups as security forces squeeze Aleppo from many sides,” the Iranian television station reported.
Tel Hasel remains the only village between regime forces and the airport in southeastern Aleppo.
“The town was hit with all kinds of missiles, rocket launchers, explosive barrels, heat seeking missiles, tanks, and fighter jets that destroyed the city’s houses, market and infrastructure,” the Safira Media Center reports on the fall of Tel Arn.
A group of the largest brigades in Aleppo and its suburbs, including Ahrar al Sham, Jabhat al-Nusra, Liwa Al Tawheed and Nour al-Deen Zinke Brigades, issued a desperate call for support Monday to combat the advance of pro-Assad troops.
The unified statement follows the resignation of the Supreme Commander of the Revolutionary Council of Aleppo, Abdujabbar Aqidi, as a result of division in opposition ranks and after the fall of al-Safira.
In Eastern Aleppo, conflicting reports are emerging over whether regime forces have consolidated control of the Brigade 80 military base, after briefly seizing the strategic headquarters, also tasked with defending Aleppo International Airport, on Friday.
“Clashes continue in the vicinity of Brigade 80 between opposition fighters and regime militias” a general from the Aleppo military council told Syria Direct, while official news agency SANA reports regime forces have gained control of the strategic Brigade.