World Bulletin / News Desk
Syrian regime forces have regained control of a brigade in the opposition stronghold of Aleppo after days of fighting, an opposition source said Monday.
Salih Anadani, media liaison for the al-Tawhid Brigade armed opposition group, said Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad's army also recaptured al-Safira district and the village of Tel Aran in Aleppo, establishing a foothold in Syria's second largest city.
Fighting near the 80th Brigade in Aleppo has continued for four days between opposition fighters and regime forces backed by Hezbollah and al-Abbas brigade, Anadani said.
Four planes supported the army's land offensive against an opposition force devoid of air capabilities, killing at least 40 al-Tawhid fighters in clashes, while opposition fighters captured an Iranian officer and destroyed tanks and armored vehicles during the conflict, he said.
Anadani noted that the regime considers the brigade strategically significant because of its proximity to the second-largest airport in the country and a military base.
Encouraged by the brigade’s capture, army forces continue to shell several Aleppo towns with heavy artillery.
The Syrian regime's recent advances come amid international efforts to organize a conference in Geneva to negotiate a political solution to the nearly three-year-old civil war in the Middle East nation which has left over 110,000 dead and millions displaced, and has decimated the country's infrastructure.
On Sunday, the Istanbul-based Syrian National Coalition announced the opposition was willing to attend the conference provided that Assad steps down to allow a transitional government on the road to recovery, almost certain to take decades.
Assad said last month he didn't rule out running again in presidential elections due in mid-2014, whereas international critics and the opposition maintain that the embattled leader's bloody military campaign against its own people has destroyed his political legitimacy.