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SYRIAN ARMY EXTENDS CEASEFIRE FOR ADDITIONAL 72 HRS

DAMASCUS, -- The Syrian army announced Monday extending a regime of calm for additional 72 hours, the third consecutive extension to take place recently, state news agency SANA said.

The new extension will enter into effect on July 12 and will end on July 14, said the report.

The first recent 72-hour ceasefire went into effect last Tuesday and was extended for a similar duration for the second time on Saturday.

The regime of silence was planned to be nationwide, but the northern city of Aleppo has seen one of the most violent situation during the last week, when the rebels went on retaliatory offensives on government-controlled areas, to revenge the government troops' control over the last supply line for the rebels in the northern countryside of Aleppo.

Over 60 people were killed and hundreds of others wounded over the past few days, when the rebels of the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Fornt and likeminded groups rained down Aleppo with hundreds of mortar shells.

On Monday morning, the Nusra and allied militants unleashed simultaneous attacks on government-controlled districts in western Aleppo.

Opposition activists said the rebels advanced near the historic citadel of Aleppo, where government forces have for long been stationing.

Pro-government reports denied the claim, amid a definitive truth that the city is living a bloody nightmare.

Aleppo, strategically located near the borders with Turkey, is Syria's largest city and once an economic hub. It has been a focal point of clashes between the Syrian army and the rebels.

In the summer of 2012, thousands of armed militants stormed residential districts of Aleppo from its countryside, striking the economic nerves of the Syrian government, which has repeatedly accused Turkey of supporting the rebels for undeclared interests in Aleppo.

The rebels captured several districts in eastern Aleppo city and tried repeatedly to expand their presence to government-controlled areas in the west.

The rebels laid siege to western Aleppo districts after cutting the international road to Aleppo in 2014, a siege broken later by the Syrian army, with the help of Hezbollah.

Military experts say the initial aim of the new Syrian army's battles in Aleppo is to lay a siege on the rebel-held areas and cut off their supply lines to force a surrender.

Another aim is to ensure the security of government-controlled areas and to prevent the militant groups from blocking the main road connecting Aleppo with the Syrian coast and other provinces in central and southern Syria.

Observers say the Syrian military campaign also aims to recapture areas in the northern and southern countryside of Aleppo in the face of Turkey's perceived attempts to establish a safe zone in northern Syria.

Source: Name News Network