Beirut: At least 25 Syrian rebels were killed in a failed attack on a makeshift army base outside the northern city of Aleppo, a monitoring group said today. Nine regime forces were also killed in fighting that erupted after several rebel groups launched the attack yesterday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. Three senior rebel commanders were among 25 fighters killed, said the Britain-based monitor.
Syria’s official SANA news agency reported that “a number of terrorists were killed and wounded” by government forces in the west of the city. The Observatory said sporadic fighting was continuing on the western outskirts of Aleppo this morning, with regime planes carrying out air strikes and rebels firing rockets on loyalist positions.
Once Syria’s economic powerhouse, Aleppo has been ravaged by fighting and divided between government control in the west and rebel control in the east since shortly after fighting began there in mid-2012. In early July, two rebel alliance launched attacks against regime forces in the western outskirts of the city, sparking some of the heaviest violence since the country’s war arrived in the city in 2012.
The assaults were largely repelled however, though rebels have continued sporadic attacks. Elsewhere, the Observatory said the Islamic State group had issued warnings to local internet providers to halt private wifi supply in the town of Albu Kamal in eastern Deir Ezzor province. The jihadist group issued a similar directive in its de facto Syrian capital Raqa in July. The ban there sought to prevent residents from accessing the internet privately, instead forcing them to go through monitored internet cafes.
The Observatory said the bans appeared to be motivated by a desire to create a news blackout but also to thwart foreign fighters who might be trying to return home without IS permission.