Syrian regime pushes to retake rebel-held Aleppo

Oct 05, 2016, 5:56 AM EDT
Destruction in Aleppo
(Source: Freedom House/flickr)

Syrian government forces upped the ante in the battleground city of Aleppo on Tuesday by crossing the frontlines for the first time in four years. The development came as Russia acknowledged that it has sent an advanced air missile defense system to its naval base in Syria's port of Tartus on the Mediterranean coast. Earlier on Monday, the U.S. suspended peace talks with Russia over implementing a ceasefire deal to end the five-year long civil war in Syria.

Reacting to an “alarm” among Western nations, Russian Defense ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said that the S-300 missile system was deployed entirely for defense purpose and it didn’t pose any threat to anyone, writes Al Jazeera.

The deployment of such a lethal defense system is a clear indication to the U.S. that the stakes will be high if Washington attempts to stop Russian operations in Syria, notes the BBC.

In a separate development, a U.N. expert confirmed on Wednesday that the deadly attack that struck a Syrian aid convoy near Aleppo last month was an air strike, thus rejecting Moscow’s claims that the vehicles caught fire on ground, reports Reuters.