The Syrian army said it had taken a strategic district of Aleppo yesterday in what would mark the most important advance by the regime and its allies in the divided city in weeks, but forces opposed to President Bashar Al-Assad said the battle was not over.
The 1070 Apartments district is located on the southwestern outskirts of Aleppo and lies alongside the regime’s corridor into the western parts of the city that it controls.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), a UK-based group that reports on the war, said regime forces and their allies had seized full control of 1070 Apartments, calling it the most significant gain by the Assad regime in Aleppo since September.
A Syrian military source said the army and allied forces were in complete control of the area and surrounding hills. They have made repeated efforts to oust rebels from the 1070 Apartments area since the summer.
A military media unit run by the Damascus-allied and Iran proxy Hezbollah carried a similar report. Hezbollah, a Lebanese Shia group, is fighting in support of Al-Assad in Syria’s war, now well in its sixth year.
But officials in two rebel groups fighting in Aleppo – Syria’s largest city and commercial hub before the war – said insurgent forces were still trying to fight back.
“The clashes around 1070 Apartments are still going on,” Zakaria Malahifji, head of the political office of the Fastaqim opposition group, said, while confirming that the Syrian army had taken the district.
Meanwhile, Yasser Alyousef from the political office of the Nour Al-Din Al-Zenki rebel group said rebels had recovered positions they had lost on Monday.
Syrian regime forces backed by allied militias and Russian air power launched a major assault on rebel-held eastern Aleppo in September after besieging the area, which the United Nations says is home to 275,000 people.
On 29 October, rebels counter-attacked in a bid to break the siege, targeting government-held western districts of Aleppo in an offensive that slowed after early gains.