Syria PM Says Army Preparing to Retake Aleppo

Syrian army is preparing major operation to retake control of the northern city of Aleppo with Russian air cover, Syria’s Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi said Sunday.

“With our Russian partners we are preparing an operation to free Aleppo and block all illegal armed groups that have not joined or have broken the ceasefire deal,” Interfax news agency quoted Halqi as saying following a meeting with Russian lawmakers in Damascus.Syria PM Wael Halqi

He said that regaining control of Aleppo Takfiri insurgents would allow government forces to advance east to Deir Ezzor, some 60 percent of which is under the control of ISIL (so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Levant) group.

Damascus has vowed with the support of its Russian allies to drive ISIL out of the area after its recent victory over the group two weeks ago in the ancient city of Palmyra.

Aleppo, the country’s second city, has since 2012 been divided into zones held between insurgent groups and areas still under government control.

A February 27 truce brokered by the United States and Russia, which, does not apply to the fight against Takfiri groups, which Damascus is now concentrating on dislodging.

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