Assad’s forces make advances, further securing Aleppo region

Syrian President Assad

The state-run Al-Ikhbariya TV said government troops were still besieging remnants of opposition fighters in a small part of rural western Aleppo. Also, parts of northern Aleppo region, which straddles the border with Turkey, is administered by Turkey and allied Syrian factions. Another segment of the province further west is controlled by Kurdish-led forces, allied with the United States. Both parts have not been part of the government offensive.

“The Syrian people are determined to liberate all Syrian territories,” President Assad said according to the Syrian state news agency on Sunday.

Assad was speaking during a meeting with visiting Iranian parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani. Both Iran and Russia have heavily backed Assad in the civil war.

Turkey has sent thousands of troops and equipment into the opposition enclave, in an attempt to stall the government advance.

Turkey, which backs the opposition, has called for an end to the Syrian government offensive. It also fears that the displaced may overwhelm its borders. Turkey is already home to more than 3.5 million Syrian refugees. The United Nations has also called for a cease-fire.

Support from Russia and Iran has enabled Assad’s forces to regain control of much of the territories they had lost to armed groups who worked to topple him.

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