BEIRUT (Associated Press) — Syrian army troops recaptured a new village north of Aleppo Monday, bringing troops and allied militiamen to within a few kilometers of the Turkish border as part of a major Russian-backed offensive in the area, the Syrian government and opposition activists said.
State-run news agency SANA said army troops took control of the village of Kfeen in the northern countryside of Aleppo “after wiping out the last group of terrorists there.”Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV and the pro-Syrian, Lebanon-based Al-Mayadeen station also reported Kfeen’s capture and aired live footage from the village.
The government offensive around the city of Aleppo has sent tens of thousands of Syrians fleeing toward the border with Turkey. Turkish authorities say up to 35,000 Syrians have massed along the border, which remained closed for a fourth day on Monday.
Turkey has come under mounting pressure to open its border to assist the fleeing Syrians, many of whom have been sleeping in cold weather in open fields near the Bab al-Salameh border crossing.