Syrian government forces regained control Saturday of areas they lost over the past two weeks to a rebel offensive on the edge of the northern city of Aleppo, ending a major attempt by insurgents to break the siege on eastern parts of the city, an activist group and pro-government media said.
The insurgents had seized a couple of strategic areas in western Aleppo after launching an offensive on Oct. 28 in an attempt to break the siege imposed in July on rebel-held eastern Aleppo, which has also been targeted by waves of Syrian and Russian airstrikes.
Russia said last month that it would halt the airstrikes on the city and urged insurgents to leave. But the fighters, including members of the al-Qaida-linked Fatah al-Sham Front, refused to leave after the government opened corridors for them to cross to the nearby province of Idlib, an insurgent stronghold.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Saturday that government forces and their allies have regained control of Al-Assad and Minyan districts, west of Aleppo.
"The epic battle for Aleppo has failed," said the Observatory's chief Rami Abdurrahman, using the term that the insurgents had assigned to the offensive.