Syrian army advances in southern Aleppo city

Damascus: The Syrian army has captured several villages in the northern province of Aleppo, as part of the broad offensive backed by Russian air force in the area, according to the pan-Arab al-Mayadeen TV on Saturday.

The Syrian forces recaptured the towns of Sbaiha, Hamidiyeh, and Mashrafet Muraij in southern Aleppo after battling militants from the Al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front and Ahrar Al-Sham Movement, Xinhua reported.

The Syrian army also unleashed attacks on four IS-held positions in Khnaser and Athraya, key areas on the international road connecting Aleppo with the central and southern Syrian cities.

The aim of the military campaign in Aleppo was to secure the international road, as the city was now disconnected from other Syrian cities with the IS-controlled Khanaser and Ahraya.

The military also aim to reach the Koerse airbase, which has been besieged by the IS for months in southern Aleppo.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based watchdog group, said Syrian and Russian airstrikes in Aleppo killed 64 people, including 28 children, over the past 24 hours, which could not be verified independently.