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Damascus brushes off Ankara's threats as Assad's forces make gains in Aleppo

Syrian forces have expelled opposition factions 12 miles from the vicinity of the city of Aleppo, opening the highway between Aleppo and Damascus at a time when Ankara is stepping up its rhetoric and threatening to launch a military attack.

While Ankara continues to send its military reinforcements to Idlib, with long convoys of artillery, tanks and personnel carriers crossing the border daily, Syrian regime forces have managed to make important strategic progress that has eluded them over the past years.

On Feb. 16, regime forces seized major opposition strongholds located in a large area north and west of the city of Aleppo, which includes around 15 cities and towns — most notably, Hraytan, Anadan and Kafr Hamra. The regime also captured the last remaining opposition strongholds in the city of Aleppo, including al-Yarmoun, al-Rashideen 4th Sector and parts of Al-Zahra Association Quarter.

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