After heavy clashes, Syrian government forces have reopened a key road linking the central heartland with the embattled northern province of Aleppo. The state-run SANA news agency and activists from Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights say the road was reopened on Sunday night.

It was closed since August because of heavy fighting between government forces and rebels trying to topple President Bashar Assad’s regime.

The move comes nearly a week after government troops captured the strategic town of Khanaser near the road. Over the past days, troops advanced in several surrounding villages. SANA says troops “broke the siege,” which had prevented supplies from reaching the provincial capital of Aleppo, Syria’s largest city and once its commercial hub.

Rebels and government troops have fought for control of Aleppo since mid-2012.

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