Syria's official news agency SANA says forces loyal to the government have retaken a village north of Aleppo, opening the way to further advances around Syria's largest city.

The capture of Hardatneen early Tuesday came a day after U.N.-led Syria peace talks got off to a wobbly start in Geneva.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based opposition group that monitors the conflict, says pro-government troops have captured three villages near Aleppo since Monday, opening access to an important supply route to the city.

The Observatory says heavy aerial bombardment, presumed to be from the Russian Air Force, supported the ground troops.

In Geneva, both sides have accused each other of bad faith. The opposition has said government airstrikes and sieges of rebel-held areas must stop ahead of talks.