Syria rebels cut army's supply lines to Aleppo

Syrian rebels on Monday cut the army's only supply route to the northern province of Aleppo, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.

"After heavy fighting since (Sunday) evening, the rebels took the strategic area of Khanasser... situated on the only road linking Aleppo to central Syria, cutting the army's military reinforcements and food" route to the province, the Britain-based NGO said.

Rebels had in recent days captured several villages in Aleppo province, much of which is already in the hands of anti-regime fighters, before reaching Khanasser, situated on the highway to Hama in central Syria.

Pro-government daily Al-Watan confirmed in a report on Monday that rebels had cut the route, saying that it was the "only avenue of transport" between the two regions since Aleppo international airport was closed in January because of the intense fighting in the town.

The newspaper said the insurgents cut the road "after having brought 2,000 armed men, many of whom are not Syrian".

"Armed men placed mines along the highway, in regions they had infiltrated and fired on lorries and buses, killing dozens of travellers," Al-Watan reported.

President Bashar al-Assad's regime equates the rebellion with "terrorism" lead by Sunni Muslim jihadists backed and financed by foreign powers.