Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his army, Russian, Iranian and Shi’ite forces, have steady succession of military victories over the past 18 months.
“Russia is wary of Turkey, but prefers squeezing it and limiting its movement, instead of mounting full-frontal attack,” a political figure in Damascus said.
SYRIA POLITICS: Bashar al-Assad Army Recaptures All Towns, Villages in Wadi Barada Valley Near Damascus
Military support from President Bashar al-Assad’s foreign allies, including Russia, Iran and Lebanese group Hezbollah, have been instrumental in helping turn the nearly six-year civil war in his favour.
“The Syrian army has entered Ain al-Fija … and raised the Syrian flag over the spring installation,” the Hezbollah media unit’s statement said. It said this was part of a deal reached with insurgents, who under the agreement would depart the area.
The army and the Lebanese Shi’ite Muslim militia Hezbollah gained complete control of the town of Baseimah, taking them close to Ain al-Fija where the water springs are located.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said air strikes began on Sunday morning, after a lull since Saturday morning during which a new round of negotiations over repairs took place.
“Those armed groups who refuse to leave eastern Aleppo will be considered to be terrorists,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
U.N. humanitarian adviser said on Friday the besieged population of eastern Aleppo faced a “very bleak moment” with no food or medical supplies.
Syrian Assad and his allies hope to benefit from Donald Trump’s election win, believing it has saved them from an interventionist Clinton administration.
Moscow and Damascus launched an assault to recapture the rebel-held sector of Aleppo this month, abandoning a new ceasefire a week after it took effect.
The capture of the Handarat camp a few kilometres north of Aleppo marked the first major ground advance of the offensive, which the government announced.
“The Syrian state is determined to recover every area from the terrorists,” Bashar al-Assad said in an interview broadcast by state media.
“We are now cleansing the town after liberating it from the regime and will have more surprises in store,” said Abu Kinan, a commander in Jaish al Ezza, a rebel group that fought in the town.