Syrian government forces battle rebels near Aleppo, city areas shelled

BEIRUT - Syrian government forces and their allies clashed with insurgents near Aleppo on Monday and warplanes launched more raids around a strategic town Islamist rebels seized last week, a monitoring group said.
The capture of Khan Touman was a rare setback for government forces in Aleppo province in recent months, and for allied Iranian troops who suffered heavy losses in the fighting.
Warplanes continued to strike around the town on Monday, and had carried out more than 90 raids in the area since Sunday morning, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
Al Manar television, run by Damascus's Lebanese ally Hezbollah, said troops had destroyed a tank belonging to insurgents and killed some its occupants.
Khan Touman lies just southwest of Aleppo city, which is one of the biggest strategic prizes in a war now in its sixth year, and has been divided into government and rebel-held zones through much of the conflict.
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