Hezbollah, Syrian army break years-long rebel siege on northern towns

Published February 3rd, 2016 - 05:30 GMT

Hezbollah and the Syrian army Wednesday broke a three-year-long siege that had been imposed by rebels on two government-held Shiite towns in the country's north, a security source told The Daily Star.

The source said the pro-government fighters had gained access to Nubl and Zahraa, days after launching a widespread offensive backed by Russian airstrikes in Aleppo province.

Hezbollah's Al-Manar television also reported the advance, saying the Syrian army was now in "full control" of both towns.

Al-Manar broadcast footage showing what it said were Syrian army troops and their allies pushing back rebels in the countryside near the villages prior to their capture.

The capture cuts one of the rebels' supply routes from opposition-held parts of Aleppo city to Turkey.

The gain comes one day after pro-government forces captured the neighboring village of Hardateen, located about six kilometers from Nubl and Zahraa.

Damascus has scored a series of battlefield victories since Russia began offering aerial cover on Sept. 30.


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