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Syrian army takes over another settlement on its way to Aleppo — media

February 25, 2016, 10:58 UTC+3 BEIRUT

According to Al Mayadeen TV channel, Hanasir was one of main Islamist strongholds on the way to Aleppo

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© Valeriy Sharifulin/TASS

BEIRUT, February 25. /TASS/. Syrian government forces have ousted extremists, including militants from the Islamic State (IS) terrorist organization, from the settlement of Hanasir to the south-east of Aleppo, Al Mayadeen TV channel said on Thursday.

According to Al Mayadeen, Hanasir was one of main Islamist strongholds on the way to Aleppo.

Russia’s military operation becomes turning point in Syria crisis

Military expert and Former Brigadier General of the Lebanese Army Amin Hoteit told TASS earlier this month that the start of Russia’s military operation in Syria had become a turning point in the armed conflict in the country.

According to Hoteit, Russia’s "military factor" hampered the actions of militants both near and far from frontlines. This allowed to decrease "the rate of supplying weapons, ammunition and people [to militants] through the border [with Turkey] by 60-70%," he added.

"Support from the air considerably increased the opportunities of ground forces to maneuver, and now government forces are close to their aim - border with Turkey through which the main flow of weapons and militants is going," the former general noted.

Hoteit said that the US-led coalition was content with the previous "war of attrition" against the Islamic State (IS) terrorist organization and Syrian authorities. The United States have now "initiated the new round of peaceful efforts to reach their aim (regime change in Damascus) by means of political bargaining," he added.

"US cannot use military methods in Syria because it would lead to a Third World War. Another thing is also obvious - prospects of Syrian army appearing on the border with Turkey in several weeks and then possibly launching an offensive on the eastern front toward Raqqa will turn out to be a catastrophe for plans of the pro-US coalition. That is why Washington gave the green light to provocational threats coming from Saudi Arabia and to actions of Turkish forces against Kurds in Syria’s north (even in spite of US State Department’s public criticism of Ankara’s actions). The aim is obvious - to stop Syrian forces from advancing to the border," Hoteit concluded.

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