Europe

Syrian official: Troops repel attempt to break Aleppo siege

  • This still image from Syrian state TV video, shows women and children arriving in a street lined with heavily damaged buildings in the government-held part of the Salaheddine neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria, Saturday, July 30, 2016, Syrian state media is reporting that dozens of families have started leaving besieged rebel-held neighborhoods in the northern city of Aleppo after the government opened safe corridors for civilians and fighters who want to leave. The Russian military says 169 civilians have left through the corridors since they were set up, but Syrian opposition activists say no civilians have left besieged parts of the city. (Syrian State TV, via AP)

    This still image from Syrian state TV video, shows women and children arriving in a street lined with heavily damaged buildings in the government-held part of the Salaheddine neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria, Saturday, July 30, 2016, Syrian state media is reporting that dozens of families have started leaving besieged rebel-held neighborhoods in the northern city of Aleppo after the government opened safe corridors for civilians and fighters who want to leave. The Russian military says 169 civilians have left through the corridors since they were set up, but Syrian opposition activists say no civilians have left besieged parts of the city. (Syrian State TV, via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE In this in this Sept. 18, 2002 file photo a Mi-8 helicopter flies over the Chechen regional capital Grozny, Russia. A helicopter similar to the one pictured has been shot down in Syria and Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman says all people aboard it have been killed, Monday, Aug. 1, 2016. (AP Photo/Musa Sadulayev, File)

    FILE In this in this Sept. 18, 2002 file photo a Mi-8 helicopter flies over the Chechen regional capital Grozny, Russia. A helicopter similar to the one pictured has been shot down in Syria and Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman says all people aboard it have been killed, Monday, Aug. 1, 2016. (AP Photo/Musa Sadulayev, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • Map locates Saraqeb, Syria; 1c x 2 inches; 46.5 mm x 50 mm;

    Map locates Saraqeb, Syria; 1c x 2 inches; 46.5 mm x 50 mm;  (The Associated Press)

A Syrian military official says government forces have repelled an attack by insurgents that was an attempt to break the siege imposed on rebel-held parts of the northern city of Aleppo.

And in nearby Idlib province, a helicopter gunship was shot down. That was reported by opposition activists.

Two activist groups — the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Observatory and the Local Coordination Committees — say rebels shot down the helicopter over Idlib. It wasn't clear if the helicopter was Russian or Syrian.

Monday's developments come a day after Syrian rebels launched the offensive to break up the government's siege of eastern, rebel-held part of Aleppo.

Opposition activists say intense fighting still ongoing in Aleppo. The military official spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations. He did not elaborate.