Syrian armed forces have taken strategic ground around Aleppo this week, residents and state media said on Wednesday, squeezing the main rebel supply line into the city after months of battlefield gains by Damascus.

The government advance, after close to two years of stalemate, was bolstered by fighters from the Lebanese Shi’ite Muslim group Hezbollah, an ally of President Bashar al-Assad, according to sources close to Hezbollah.

Rebels pushed into Aleppo, once Syria’s commercial hub, in 2012 from the north and took districts in the heart of the city. Since then, the army has held the west and south of Aleppo but has been unable to dislodge opposition fighters. […]