Foreign backed militant groups in Syria have launched fresh attacks against the mostly Shiite neighborhoods in the suburb of Aleppo in an attempt to regain their control over the area.

According to a report, the terrorist group of al - Nusra Front has started firing mortars into residential neighborhoods of Nobbol and al - Zahra in northern Aleppo to provide the ground for further progress in the districts.

Elsewhere in western coastal province of Latakia, a dozen of al - Nusra Front militants were killed in the latest round of army attack to their bastion in Saraya area in the suburb of Latakia.

Moreover, Syrian Defense Minister Fahd al - Freij visited army troops in Khaldiyeh, a Homs district the army won back from the militants’control in late July, state news agency SANA said on Monday.

The general conducted " a tour of Khaldiyeh, where he visited the army units that had restored security and stability in the neighborhood, " SANA said.

The army ' s takeover of Khaldiyeh, in the central city of Homs, came after an intense month - long campaign of daily air and artillery shelling.

Like other districts under militants’ control in Homs, Khaldiyeh had been under a suffocating army siege for more than a year.

The army ' s takeover of Khaldiyeh was its second military success since June when it captured the militants - held town of Qusayr in Homs province.

Freij ' s visit comes a day after President Bashar al - Assad said the country ' s crisis could only be solved by " striking terror with an iron fist ".

Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011.

Western powers and their regional allies - including the Israeli regime, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar - continue to support militant groups, including al - Qaeda - linked terrorists, in Syria.

Many of the militants operating inside Syria are reportedly foreign nationals.