Syrian fighters claim several villages near Aleppo

A coalition of Syrian rebel groups, including Nusra Front, make gains near strategic city of Aleppo.

    Syrian fighters have seized a town and several villages in Syria's northern Aleppo province from troops and allied Shia forces amid intense fighting.

    A coalition of rebel groups, including the Nusra Front, announced on Saturday that they had taken back control of Tal Bajer in the southwestern countryside of Aleppo, after losing it to Syrian troops backed by Lebanese Hezbollah fighters and Iranian forces two weeks ago.

    Nusra Front released drone footage that purports to show Iranian forces fleeing from rebels advancing on the town with tanks.

    But as fighting continues near the borders with Turkey, fears of a regional conflict loom large.

    Al Jazeera's Hashem Ahelbarra, reporting from Yayladagi on Turkey's border with Syria, said Turkey and Russia are divided over Syria's civil war as Russians are staunch allies of President Bashar al-Assad, while Turkey insists the Syrian president must go.

    "They believe the Russians use the fight against ISIL as a cover to bolster Assad's chances to stay in power," Ahelbarra said. "And that ISIL can only be defeated if Assad is forced out of power."

    Opposition forces have inflicted painful losses on Syrian troops and their allies in the area, successfully repelling their advances despite Russian air strikes.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    Prince Philip has done the world an extraordinary service by exposing the racist hypocrisy of "Western civilisation".

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    There are a number of reasons why Beijing continues to back Maduro's government despite suffering financial losses.