DAMASCUS, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- At least 39 government soldiers have been killed over the past 36 hours, when the Islamic State (IS) unleashed a violent offensive on areas under the government control in southern countryside of Aleppo, a monitor group reported on Monday.
The IS attacks are focused on the area between the towns of Khanaser and Sabkhet al-Jabour as well as nearby areas in the southeastern rim of Aleppo, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The UK-based watchdog group said 12 IS militants were killed during the battles.
The military forces announced recently that they had besieged the IS in al-Bab from the city's southern edge, as the Turkish forces and allied fighters stormed the city from its northern and northwestern sides.
Security Khanaser is crucial for the Syrian army, as it's adjacent to the current road into Aleppo city, which has been retaken by the army in December of last year, following the rebels withdrawal from the eastern part of the city.