Battle of Safira
The Battle of Safira was fought in February 2013, when rebels forces attacked the town of al-Safira, which holds a key position on the Damascus to Aleppo road, where a major battle for the city had been waging for the previous seven months.
On 6 February 2013, violent clashes took place between Al-Nusra and several other rebel battalions and government forces south of Al-Safira city, along with violent bombardment on some areas of the city.
On 8 February, several parts of Safira continued to be bombarded by government forces, in an attempt to reclaim the city. Rebels from Al-Nusra front and other jihadist groups surrounded the defense plant where many Army troops were stationed. Seven soldiers were killed when Al-Nusra fighters attacked a military checkpoint south of the defense plant. According to opposition activists, 112 rebels had been killed in the previous 72 hours. Much of the local population fled the city as a result of the violence. The opposition group SOHR reported that a convoy of Army reinforcements arrived at the factory after the fighting had ended. Later, it was reported that another convoy that was sent to the city was attacked by rebels and halted.
The stalemate in al-Safira continued for almost two weeks with a war of attrition being waged between government troops still remaining in the city and rebel forces. However, on 19 February it was reported that, although not being able to recapture the city, government reinforcements did manage to secure the road south of it and connected with troops at the plant, which was under continuing siege by rebels who did not manage to capture it. The military reinforcements further pushed north towards Aleppo, but were once again halted by rebels at the town of Tal Aran. By this point, rebel forces had lost more than 200 fighters while attempting to stop the Army reinforcements.
In early March, government troops captured the last village on the road between Aleppo and al-Safira, re-establishing a land supply route between central Syria and Aleppo's airport.
As of late April, rebel forces that were still managing to hold most of the city were coming under constant Army bombardment. Islamic rebels also continued to mount failed attacks against the military factory, in attempts to capture it.
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