Syrian army and allies breaks rebel siege of Shi'ite towns: army

Reuters News
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Posted: Feb 03, 2016 10:33 AM

AMMAN (Reuters) - The Syrian army and its allies have broken a rebel siege around two Shi’ite towns in north western Syria, state media and a TV station owned by Lebanon’s Hezbollah group said on Wednesday.

Al Manar TV station said the breakthrough came after the army opened a route from towns secured in a major offensive in northern Aleppo in the last few days.

The two towns of Nubul and Zahraa have been under rebel siege for around three years.

The Syrian army also confirmed the major breakthrough.

Alongside heavy Russian aerial support, the advances have been made possible by heavy reliance on ground troops from Lebanon's Hezbollah group and Iranian backed militias which support President Bashar al Assad's government.

The army has now been able to cut through main rebel supply route from Turkey into opposition-held parts of Aleppo city that stood between government-held parts of western Aleppo and the Shi'ite villages, which are loyal to Damascus.

(Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi; Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)