Syria army retakes strategic town in Aleppo Province
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Syrian army forces have regained full control of a strategic town in the northern Aleppo Province following heavy clashes with foreign-backed militants. The government forces gained control of Khanasser, a strategic town linking central Syria to Aleppo, on Thursday. Foreign-backed militants had seized the town and some nearby villages in August, cutting off the army's supply route to Aleppo. According to reports, at least 25 militants were killed during clashes on Wednesday. Syria's al-Watan newspaper said the takeover is a development that "opens the way to allow aid to reach the city (of Aleppo) in the coming hours." The government troops have recently conducted successful clean-up operations across the country, inflicting heavy losses on the militants. Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies -- especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey -- are supporting militants operating inside Syria to overthrow the government of Bashar al-Assad. According to the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have been killed and millions displaced due to the violence.