BEIRUT, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 6th Augst,2016) - Militants and rebels captured strategic military positions on the edges of Syria's second city Aleppo on Saturday, turning the tables on Russian-backed regime forces besieging the city. To the northeast, a Western-backed alliance of Arab and Kurdish fighters scored a major victory against the Islamic State group in the town of Manbij after a fierce two-month battle. The developments have rocked the key northern province of Aleppo, a microcosm of Syria's topsy-turvy, multi-front war that has killed more than 280,000 people.
Rebel and regime forces have fought for control of the provincial capital of the same name since mid-2012, transforming the former economic powerhouse into a divided, bombed-out city. On Saturday, opposition fighters and allied miltants captured fresh territory south of Aleppo in a bid to cut off regime forces and open up a new route into besieged rebel-held districts. "The Army of Conquest on Saturday took control of the armament school, where there is a large amount of ammunitions, and a large part of the artillery school" at a military academy south of the city, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The coalition of rebels, and militants "is about to cut off, by gunfire, the supply route into government-controlled districts" of the city, Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said. That road passes through a southwestern suburb of Aleppo called Ramussa and is the last route into the city used by regime troops. Opposition forces in the city -- encircled by the government since July 17 -- are hoping to expand their control in the area and use that route themselves.