Troops have joined the Syrian regime’s military forces and Hizbollah allies in preparation for a ground attack in the Syrian city, say officials
Thousands of Iranian troops have arrived in Syria to join the regime’s military forces and Hizbollah allies to launch a ground attack against insurgents in Aleppo, two senior regional officials have said.
Control of Aleppo city and the surrounding province in the area near the Turkish border is divided among the Syrian government, insurgent groups fighting Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) that controls some rural areas near the city.
“The big battle preparations in that area are clear,” one of the officials told Reuters news agency. “There is a large mobilisation of the Syrian army … elite Hizbollah fighters, and thousands of Iranians who arrived in stages in recent days.”
Isil and other insurgents, including groups backed by Assad’s foreign enemies, have been fighting each other north of the city in an area of territory where Turkey and the United States have been laying plans to crush Isil, which controls large swathes of Syria and Iraq.
The offensive, which both officials said would begin soon, would expand on a ground attack by the same alliance last week that is targeting rebels in Hama province farther west. The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said thousands of Iranian troops had arrived to take part in the offensives in support of Assad.
Isil urges Muslims to launch ‘holy war’
In an audio message on Tuesday, Isil urged Muslims to launch a “holy war” against Russians and Americans.
“Islamic youth everywhere, ignite jihad against the Russians and the Americans in their crusaders’ war against Muslims,” said Abu Mohammad al-Adnani, Isil spokesman.
Full article: Thousands of Iranian troops ‘arrive in Syria’ for Aleppo offensive (The Telegraph)