A group of Syrian soldiers

With Russia’s aerial assistance, Syrian army lifts Aleppo siege

Damascus-led forces assisted by Russian military aircraft have secured control over the main highway to Aleppo essentially freeing the strategic Syrian city which had been besieged for two weeks, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported.

A team has already finished disarming explosive devices along the road. On Wednesday, authorities opened the highway to traffic letting military equipment, as well as trucks carrying food and fuel through. Soldiers at checkpoints said that the road would be open to civilians on Thursday.

Aleppo is the economic capital of Syria and the largest city in the country. In 2011, Aleppo had 2.4 million residents, while 1.9 million people lived in Damascus. Since the outbreak of the civil war Aleppo became the scene of intense fighting forcing many to flee the city and seek shelter in Damascus.

Almost all highways linking Aleppo to Damascus, Latakia, Hama, etc. are controlled by rebel groups. Some two weeks ago ISIL fighters seized the so-called “road of life” to Aleppo. It was the only way to get to Latakia in the West or Hama, Homs and Damascus in the South.

Approximately 1 million people lived in Aleppo when this road was cut off from those areas of the country which have not been overtaken by rebels. They were left without fuel, gas and food and prices skyrocketed. Basic supplies currently cost up to ten times more than in the rest of Damascus-controlled Syria.

By Sputnik News