ADDS US REACTION
By Khalid Suleiman
ALEPPO, Syria (AA) – Syrian opposition forces have broken a siege imposed by the PYD and Daesh terrorist groups on the town of Marea in Aleppo’s northern countryside, according to local sources.
Opposition fighters have managed to recapture three villages along the road linking Marea to the town of Azaz following clashes with Daesh militants, the sources, who insisted on anonymity due to fears of reprisal, told Anadolu Agency. "Opposition forces are now clearing landmines from captured areas," the sources said.
The U.S. welcomed the latest advance of Syrian opposition forces.
"It's a critical area along the Turkish border as the Syrian Democratic Forces simultaneously continue to advance from the east near Manbij city," State Department spokesman Mark Toner said during a press briefing.
He added that he was not sure if al-Nusra was also part of the withdrawal.
In May, Daesh militants captured the three villages, effectively cutting the opposition group’s supply route between Marea and Azaz.
Meanwhile, the PYD, the Syrian affiliate of the terrorist PKK organization, has exploited the clashes between opposition forces and Daesh to seize control of the nearby village of Ein Issa.
Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since 2011, when the regime of Bashar al-Assad cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity and disproportionate force.
Since then, more than a quarter of a million people have been killed and more than 10 million displaced across the war-battered country, according to the UN.