Syrian Troops Push towards Aleppo City
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Syrian troops started moving towards rebel positions on the outskirts of Aleppo city, including the strategic district of Sheikh Najjar.
The territory is the main point of entrance into the rebel-controlled east, and by taking it, the government could effectively block supply lines from Turkey, Al Jazeera's Zeina Khodr said on Sunday.
"The rebels are bogged down in their own war in the opposition-held north and the regime is trying to push forward, trying to make advances," Al Jazeera's correspondent said from Beirut.
Activists said the Syrian regime was also attempting to push towards a strategic highway linking the airport to the western part of city, which remains under government control.
The government's push comes amid fierce infighting between various armed opposition groups, primarily directed against al-Qaeda-linked fighters in the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
The Sunday meeting of the "Friends of Syria" group at the French Foreign Affairs Ministry was to include ministers from 11 countries that support the so-called Geneva 2 peace process, along with Ahmed Jarba, the president of Syria's main opposition National Coalition.
The 11 countries - the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Egypt and Jordan - planned to increase pressure on Jarba to persuade the opposition to join the UN-led talks, set to open in the Swiss town of Montreux on January 22.