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Syrian army repels rebel advances southwest of Aleppo city

Syrian government forces on Monday repel a renewed rebel assault southwest of the city of Aleppo, forcing opposition forces to retreat from positions they seized a daily earlier, the Syrian government and activists say.

The development follows intense battles between the two sides.

The attempt to seize new ground around the northern city is spearheaded by a coalition of rebel and militant groups, including Syria’s rebranded al-Qaeda branch, which now goes under the name of Fath al-Sham.

In this frame grab from video provided by the Russian Defense Ministry Press Service, Russian long range bomber Tu-22M3 flies during a strike above an undisclosed location in Syria on Sunday, Aug. 14, 2015. (Russian Defense Ministry press service photo via AP)
In this frame grab from video provided by the Russian Defense Ministry Press Service, Russian long range bomber Tu-22M3 flies during a strike above an undisclosed location in Syria on Sunday, Aug. 14, 2015. (Russian Defense Ministry press service photo via AP)

Fighting in Aleppo, once Syria’s largest city and commercial capital, has intensified in recent weeks. The city near the Turkish border has been split between a rebel-held eastern part and a government-held western part since 2012. It has become the focal point of the war, encapsulating the bloody stalemate of Syria’s conflict, now in its sixth year.

— AP

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