Syria army begins offensive near Aleppo with Russian support

Syrian regime soldiers rest in an area around Kweyris military airport, in the eastern Aleppo province on October 16, 2015Syrian troops backed by Russian air power and allied militias opened a new front against rebels around the second city of Aleppo, where Washington said up to 2,000 Iran-backed forces were deployed. The offensive came as Turkey said it had downed a drone of unknown origin that violated its airspace close to the Syrian border, and a monitor said the death toll in the conflict had risen to more than 250,000. The Aleppo offensive is the fourth that President Bashar al-Assad’s regime has launched since Moscow began an air campaign on September 30.

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