Damascus expects tough but short battle for Aleppo




 
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February 11th, 2016  
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Topic: Damascus expects tough but short battle for Aleppo


By Laila Bassam and Tom Perry DAMASCUS (Reuters) - The Syrian government expects a tough battle for Aleppo, the city that has become the focal point of the country's long civil war, but is confident of victory and says it won't be a long fight. * * Damascus aims to seal the border with Turkey, a major sponsor of the insurgents fighting President Bashar al-Assad, and to retake rebel-held areas of what was Syria's biggest city and industrial hub before the conflict began in 2011. * * "These battles are not easy, but the day will come, God willing, when all Aleppo - its rural areas and the occupied part of the city - will return to state authority," Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi said in an interview on Wednesday. The government assault helped to derail already struggling Geneva peace talks this month.




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