Battle for strategic district in Aleppo continues

Syrian regime forces and rebels are fighting over control for the strategically-located 1070 Apartments district in Aleppo, which lies alongside the regime's corridor into the parts of the city that it controls.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Russian-backed regime forces are making a push to control major areas in eastern Aleppo, but rebels are not backing down in the fight for control.

Syrian regime forces are claiming to have taken over a strategic district in Aleppo marking the most critical advance in the divided city for Damascus and its allies, but opposition rebels say the battle is far from over.

Located on the southwestern outskirts of Aleppo, the 1070 Apartments district lies alongside the regime's corridor into the parts of the city that it controls. 

A military media unit run by regime-allied Hezbollah, a Lebanese Shia group, also carried a similar report.

The regime and its allies have made repeated efforts to oust rebels from the 1070 Apartments area since the summer.

But officials from two opposition groups fighting in Aleppo said their forces were still fighting back.

"The clashes around 1070 Apartments are still going on," Zakaria Malahifji, head of the political office of the Fastaqim opposition group said.

Yasser Alyousef from the political office of the Nour al-Din al-Zinki rebel group said rebels had recovered positions they had lost on Monday.

In September, regime forces backed by allied militias and Russian air power launched a major campaign to capture rebel-held eastern Aleppo, which according to the United Nations is home to 275,000 people.

Rebels launched a counter-attack on October 29, targeting regime-held western districts of Aleppo in an offensive that included Free Syrian Army and various rebel groups fighting under its banner.

UK-based group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and emergency workers in eastern Aleppo, say Russian and regime air strikes had killed hundreds of people, bombed hospitals and other civilian facilities before that. (Reuters)

Syrian regime media said the army had moved into Minian, which was captured by rebels at the start of their campaign.

The fall of Minian to the regime would reverse some of the gains rebels have made during their offensive.

But Malahifji, of the Fastaqim rebel group, shot down the claims that there had been any clashes inside the village, saying, "Minian is still with the rebels, the regime is trying to take it, but it's still with the rebels."

Russia said its air force has been observing a cessation of air strikes in rebel-held eastern Aleppo since October 18.

Russia-based Interfax news agency quoted a source in the Russian Defence Ministry who said Russia was preparing to launch air strikes from its flagship aircraft carrier, The Admiral Kuznetsov, from the eastern Mediterranean around Aleppo "in coming hours. (Reuters)

A senior US official said they had repeatedly sought to de-escalate the violence, only to see Moscow flex its military muscle in support of regime leader, Bashar al-Assad.

"An escalation would make it harder to resolve the brutal civil war in Syria and raise more doubts about Russia's commitment to a political solution," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

TRTWorld and agencies