The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies are preparing to launch a military operation to secure Aleppo’s city center, the Kurdish Hawar News Agency (ANHA) reported on September 4, citing sources in government forces.
According to the sources, several units of the SAA and 1,500 Iranian-backed fighters will be taking part in the operation. The remaining militants’ positions in the districts of al-Zahra and al-Rashidin, north and northwest of the city, will be the two main targets.
“Personnel of the regime called on the mercenaries in al-Zahra, using loudspeakers, to surrender themselves to regime forces in order to avoid being killed … They reminded them of the human and material losses the mercenaries suffered from in Khan Shaykhun,” the ANHA’s reporter in Aleppo said.
Since last year, militants hiding in al-Zahra and al-Rashidin have fired hundreds of rockets and mortars on Aleppo’s city center, killing and injuring dozens of civilians. The city was even attacked with chlorine gas last November.
The Turkish military established three observation posts in the outskirt of Aleppo, last year. However, the posts failed to put an end to the militants shelling.
Last week, several pro-government activists said that the SAA is massing its troops around Aleppo. This indicates that ANHA’s claims of a near operation there are credible to some extent.