70 persons killed as battles heat up in Aleppo

 Damascus, June 15: At least 70 jihadist fighters and military soldiers were killed over the past 24 hours during battles in Syria’s Aleppo province, a monitor group reported on Wednesday. The Syrian army backed by Russian airstrikes has been engaged in intense battles against several jihadist groups in areas in the southern countryside of Aleppo since Tuesday noon, Xinhua news agency quoted the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights as saying. The Britain-based watchdog group said the government forces succeeded in recapturing several points and areas in Aleppo, after losing them to the rebels on Tuesday. The recent battles are part of a major military showdown in Aleppo, whose biggest battles are still being prepared. The Syrian army is expected to unleash a wide-scale offensive against the jihadi groups in Aleppo, Syria’s largest city and once an economic hub. While the Syrian army is busy battling the rebels in Aleppo, the US backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) rebels are engaged in battles against the Islamic State (IS) group in the city of Manbej, one of the last IS strongholds in Aleppo. German and French special forces ave arrived in Aleppo to aid the SDF in their push against IS.  (IANS)