BEIRUT,(Pakistan Point News - APP - 6th Augst,2016) - Jihadists 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 jihadists captured 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... 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, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The coalition of rebels, Islamists, and jihadists "is about to cut off, by gunfire, the supply route into government-controlled districts," said Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman. That road passes through a southwestern suburb of Ramussa and is the last route into Aleppo used by regime troops.