Syrian rebel commander says northern Aleppo countryside 'totally encircled'

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The commander of a U.S.-supported Syrian rebel group said on Friday the northern countryside of Aleppo province was completely encircled by Syrian government forces and its allies and heavy Russian bombardment continued. Syrian government troops and their allies broke through rebel defenses to reach two Shi'ite villages in northern Aleppo province on Wednesday, choking opposition supply lines from Turkey to Aleppo city. The assault in northern Aleppo province, backed by hundreds of Russian air strikes there, has also prompted tens of thousands of people to flee toward the Turkish border and helped derail peace talks in Geneva.