Fighters from Ahrar al-Sham, a rebel group affiliated with the Islamic Front Coalition, have taken control of an artillery base adjacent to Aleppo's Ramoussah roundabout, allowing other rebels inside the city to link up with a relief force to the west, according to a message posted on the Islamic Front's official Twitter account Aug. 6. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the coalition had taken control of part of the base, which is about 1.6 kilometers (1 mile) from besieged rebel areas. The Syrian military, however, claims to have rebuffed the attack. Troops loyal to Syrian President Bashar al Assad have been surrounding rebel positions in the city in operations that began in early June. Actions in the province and city of Aleppo will play a decisive role in determining the direction of the civil war. What happens in Aleppo could change the balance between rebels and loyalists and alter the Islamic State's position in the region. It could also influence the relationship between the United States and Turkey as they pursue conflicting objectives.