Syrian troops are seen in the western town of Qusayr, near the Lebanese border on June 5, 2013.
The Syrian army has launched a major operation to clear the northwestern city of Aleppo of the foreign-backed militants in the country, Press TV reports.
Syrian forces have reportedly closed the major outlets of the city, which is located some 310 kilometers (192 miles) north of the capital, Damascus.
The army is preparing to attack militant strongholds in the towns of Hayyan, Khirbet Andan, Tell Rifaat and A’zaz on the outskirts of Aleppo.
The operation is code-named North Storm.
The Syrian army has clinched victories against the militants in recent days, liberating the strategic towns of Qusayr, Qunaytirah and Daba’a in the west.
Qusayr was an important center and supply route for the armed groups.
Damascus says a large number of militants including al-Qaeda-linked Salafists have been killed in the recent battles.
On June 5, the Syrian state TV said Qusayr, which lies near the border with Lebanon, was under full control of the Syrian army following three weeks of fighting with militants. Syrian troops were backed by forces from the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah during the Qusayr operation.
Syrian government forces also managed to retake control of several villages near Qusayr on June 7 and pushed the militants out of the central villages of Salhiyeh and Masoudiyeh.
The foreign-sponsored militancy in Syria has taken its toll on the lives of many people, including large numbers of Syrian soldiers and security personnel, since the outbreak of turmoil more than two years ago.