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Battle for second-largest airport in Syria intensifies

BEIRUT--The battle for Syria's second-largest airport intensified on Saturday as regime troops tried to reverse rebels' strategic gains in the northeast recently.

Rebels have been trying for months to capture Aleppo's international airport.

Rami Abdul-Rahman, director of the Britain-based activist group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said the fighting is now concentrated around a section of a highway that connects the city with the airport.

The rebels have cut off the highway the army has been using to transport troops and supplies to a military base within the airport complex. The airport east of the city is part of a complex that includes a smaller military airfield and the base.

Rebels have made significant advances in the battle for the complex in the past weeks after capturing two army bases along the road to the airport.

Aleppo is Syria's largest city and its commercial capital. President Bashar Assad's troops have been locked in a stalemate with the rebels there since July, when the city became a major battlefield in the nearly 2-year-old conflict.

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