Syrian troops reach besieged Aleppo prison

Photo: Syrian troops reach besieged Aleppo prison
 / Arab World

The Syrian army has reportedly ended a year-long rebel siege of Aleppo's central prison, pro-government TV channels and a monitoring group said on Thursday.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said government forces entered the prison that had been under a rebel siege since April 2013, Al Arabiya reported.

"After a siege of nearly 13 months by al-Nusra Front and Islamist rebels, regular armed forces backed by pro-regime fighters were able to break the siege of Aleppo central prison," the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said in a released statement.

Tanks and armored vehicles "entered the grounds of the prison this morning," its director Rami Abdel Rahman told Agence France-Presse.

Lebanon's Al-Mayadeen and Al-Manar television stations, which are close to the Syrian government and have reporters in different parts of Syria, reported that troops had ended the prison siege.

The sprawling prison, which holds an estimated 4,000 inmates, has witnessed deadly clashes between government and opposition forces over the past year.

Rebels have repeatedly barreled suicide car bombs into the front gates and clashed with guards and troops holed up inside in an effort to take over the prison.

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