Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

Video: Far right at the gates of power in Austria

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

FRANCE 24 turns 10: A look behind the scenes

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Gambia's Yahya Jammeh concedes defeat in presidential polls

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Gambians herald 'new independence' after Jammeh defeat

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Hollande, the One Term President (part 1)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Trump Keeps 'Em Guessing, Italian Referendum, Austrian Election, Castro's Death (part 2)

Read more

FASHION

Discovering the winter 2016/2017 men's fashion collections in Paris

Read more

ENCORE!

Rendez-vous on '42nd Street' as the meta musical comes to Paris

Read more

REPORTERS

Uzbekistan reinforces its tight grip on election and country

Read more

Middle East

Syrian forces break Aleppo prison siege, NGO says

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-05-22

Syrian forces have broken a year-long rebel siege of a prison in the northern city of Aleppo after heavy fighting with al Qaeda fighters and other Islamist brigades, according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).

Forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad entered the prison compound in military vehicles and gunfire was heard, the SOHR said, although this has not been confirmed.

Syrian state media did not report on the fighting around the prison on Thursday, but earlier said Assad’s forces had captured the town of Hailan next to the prison, about 5 miles (8 km) northeast of Aleppo city.

Assad’s forces and rebels have been fighting for two years in Aleppo, Syria’s largest city before the start of the three-year civil war, and the countryside around it.

Rebels, including fighters from al Qaeda’s Nusra Front, have tried repeatedly to storm the prison and free its inmates, bombing and breaching its outer walls but failing to take full control. The complex holds around 3,000 prisoners.

The recapture of the prison and its surroundings means that Assad’s forces have control over the north-east approach to Aleppo, the Observatory’s Rami Abdulrahman said.

The anti-Assad Observatory, which monitors the violence in Syria through a network of activists and medical and military sources, says more than 162,000 people have been killed in the conflict, which grew out of protests against Assad’s rule.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)

Date created : 2014-05-22

  • SYRIA

    'Friends of Syria' vow to boost aid to opposition rebels

    Read more

  • SYRIA

    Deadly blast ‘completely destroys’ Aleppo hotel

    Read more

  • SYRIA

    Syrian rebels evacuate Homs in ceasefire deal

    Read more

COMMENT(S)