Rebels launched an offensive to capture the Aleppo international airport and adjacent Nairab military air base last week and have since stormed the army based charged with protecting the area.
The fall of the airport would be a turning point in the fate of the city, Syria’s largest, which is now heavily damaged and divided between rebel- and government-controlled zones.
The government has not been able to fly in supplies for weeks because of the fighting.
The head of the Britian-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Monday that the government has managed to bring dozens of vehicles and thousands of troops to the town of Safira, southeast of Aleppo but that heavy fighting has kept them from pushing further towards Aleppo.
Abdul-Rahman, who relies on a network of contacts inside Syria, said the army killed more than 200 members of the Jabhat al-Nusra group over the last two weeks as it pushed toward Safira. The U.S. has designated Jabhat al-Nusra a terrorist organization.
For its part, the Syrian government said its forces fought and killed ‘‘armed terrorists’’ in the provinces of Idlib, Homs and Aleppo. Syria blames the conflict on an international conspiracy carried out by terrorists to weaken the country.
Also Monday, the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah announced that one of its fighters had been killed while doing ‘‘his jihadist duty.’’ It gave no further details on his death.
The announcement followed reports from Syrian activists and a Lebanese official near the Syrian border that at least two Hezbollah fighters had been killed in sectarian clashes near the Syrian town of Qusair on Saturday.
Hezbollah declined to comment on the clashes, and it could not be confirmed that the fighter buried Monday was killed in Syria.
Associated Press writers Bassem Mroue in Beirut, Don Melvin in Brussels, Geir Moulson in Berlin, Danica Kirka in London and Albert Aji in Damascus, Syria, contributed reporting.