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Syrian forces, aided by Russian airstrikes, move closer toward a siege on Aleppo

Syrian forces, aided by Russian airstrikes, move closer toward a siege on Aleppo

Pro-government forces backed by Russian airstrikes consolidated their grip Friday on strategic terrain in northwestern Syria, escalating an offensive that has pushed thousands of civilians toward Turkey and raised the prospect of a siege on the long-divided city of Aleppo.

The Syrian army, backed by allied forces, had restored security and stability to the formerly opposition-held towns of Rityan and Mair, northwest of Aleppo, after ousting “terrorists,” reported Syria’s official media, which refers to all rebel groups as terrorists.

Opposition social media reported that rebel groups, including Al Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, Al Nusra Front, were engaged...

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