Syria rebels lose all of northeast Aleppo: Monitor
Army takes Sakhur, Haydariya and Sheikh Khodr, while Kurdish forces the Sheikh Fares district
A vehicle of Syrian pro-government forces drives past damaged buildings in the Masaken Hanano district in eastern Aleppo, after they resized it from rebel fighters. Pic/AFP
Beirut: Syrian rebels have lost all of the northern neighbourhoods of their stronghold in eastern Aleppo, a monitor said yesterday, as the army pushed an offensive to retake the battered city.
The army captured the Sakhur, Haydariya and Sheikh Khodr neighbourhoods yesterday, while Kurdish forces took the Sheikh Fares district from rebels, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
Kurdish forces in Aleppo are not officially allied with the regime, but the opposition regards them as cooperating with the government in a bid to recapture the city.
“The rebels have lost control of all the neighbourhoods in the north of east Aleppo, and this is their worst defeat since they seized half the city in 2012,” said Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman.
Syrian state media reported the capture of Haydariya and Sakhur as it looped footage showing some of the thousands of civilians who have fled east Aleppo in recent days as loyalist troops have advanced.
The army renewed an operation to retake eastern Aleppo nearly two weeks ago, hoping to deal the opposition a potentially devastating blow.
Syria’s Al-Watan daily, which is close to the government, said the army was advancing quickly. It said the next stage of the operation would be “to divide the remaining area into security districts that will be easily controlled and to capture them successively”.
The advance would then “push the gunmen to turn themselves (in)... or accept national reconciliation under the terms of the Syrian state.”
IS files show plots against Europe: UK Gen
A top UK general, who was part of the US-led coalition fighting IS terrorists in the Middle East yesterday said that a large amount of intelligence had been obtained on the dreaded terror group’s plans to target Europe. Major-General Rupert Jones, the deputy commander of US-led operations against the militants, said the files had been retrieved in July by Western-backed Kurdish and Arab militias from the former IS stronghold of Manbij, in the Aleppo governorate of northern Syria.
‘1,000 IS fighters killed in Mosul’
Iraqi special forces battling to clear the IS from eastern Mosul have killed nearly 1,000 militants, but fighting has slowed as troops face a mobile enemy hidden among thousands of civilians in the city, a top commander said. Six weeks into a major offensive, Iraqi forces have captured nearly half of eastern Mosul, moving from district to district against jihadist snipers, suicide attackers and car bombs.
Spanish cops arrest four on suspicion
The Spanish police have arrested four people suspected of involvement in a migrant network with connections to the IS, the Interior Ministry said yesterday. The IS is believed to have used the network to smuggle militants into Europe via Turkey among migrants fleeing Syria’s civil war, the ministry added. These have included militants involved in the November 2015 Paris attacks.rate of northern Syria.