Syrian rebels storm Aleppo artillery base, army says attack repelled

Syrian rebels stormed an artillery base in the northern city of Aleppo.

Reuters| Updated: Aug 06, 2016, 06:28 AM IST

Delhi: Syrian rebels stormed an artillery base in the northern city of Aleppo on Friday to try an end the siege of opposition-held areas but the Syrian army said it had repelled the attack and killed hundreds of insurgents.

A quarter of a million civilians still live in Aleppo`s opposition-controlled eastern neighbourhoods, effectively under siege since the army, aided by Iranian-backed militias, cut off the last road into rebel districts in early July.

Fighters from a coalition of Islamist rebel groups called "Jaish al Fateh" that includes Jabhat Fateh al Sham, the former al Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front, Ahrar al Sham and other smaller groups, said they took part of the main fortress-like artillery academy in the Ramousah quarter in southwestern Aleppo.

The artillery base, one of the largest in Syria, is almost 2 km from the besieged opposition area. It has a huge supply of ammunitions and is used regularly to shell parts of the city held by opposition forces.

The rebels are trying to break through a strip of government-controlled territory to reconnect their encircled sector of eastern Aleppo with a swathe of insurgent territory in the west of Syria, effectively breaking the siege.