Syrian regime forces gain control of key Aleppo area

Syrian pro-government soldiers chat as they advance in Aleppo's rebel-held Bustan al-Basha neighbourhood on October 6, 2016. "Syrian regime forces advanced from the city centre north into (rebel-held) Bustan al-Basha, and seized a large athletic complex there," the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. This was the first time the regime had entered the district since 2013 and there had been fierce clashes, they added. This was the first time the regime had entered the district since 2013 and there had been fierce clashes, he added. / AFP / GEORGE OURFALIAN (Photo credit should read GEORGE OURFALIAN/AFP/Getty Images)

The Syrian military and its allies took control Thursday of part of a key neighborhood on Aleppo’s front line, pushing into the city’s rebel-held east, Syrian state media and a UK-based monitoring group said.

“An army unit in cooperation with the supporting forces carried out a ‘swift’ operation against the fortified sites of the terrorist organizations in Bustan al-Basha neighborhood in Aleppo city,” state-run SANA quoted a military source as saying.

Bustan al-Basha is located on the front line between besieged rebel-held eastern Aleppo and government-held areas in the center and west of the city. It is the first time the government has made gains in that neighborhood since losing the area to rebels three years ago, the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.