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Aleppo's Old City has fallen to Assad's forces

Government and allied forces now hold over 75% of east Aleppo, a rebel bastion since 2012.

Smoke rises following an air strike on insurgents positions in eastern Aleppo on Monday,
Smoke rises following an air strike on insurgents positions in eastern Aleppo on Monday,
Image: Hassan Ammar

SYRIAN GOVERNMENT FORCES control all of Aleppo’s historic Old City after rebel fighters withdrew in the face of army advances overnight, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said today.

The army and allied forces now hold more than 75% of east Aleppo, a rebel bastion since 2012, three weeks into their operation to capture all of the second city.

The Observatory said rebels had withdrawn from the last parts of the Old City under their control overnight after the army seized the neighbouring districts of Bab al-Hadid and Aqyul.

“Rebels were forced to withdraw from the Old City neighbourhoods of Aleppo for fear of being besieged,” the Britain-based monitor said.

The army has made steady gains since it began its latest bid to recapture east Aleppo.

It now controls all the areas east of the historic citadel, and parts of the Marjeh neighbourhood, the Observatory said.

Overnight, the army carried out heavy shelling of the Al-Zabdiya neighbourhood and other territory still under rebel control in the southeast of the city, the Observatory said.

It said at least 15 people, including a child, were killed in government fire on east Aleppo yesterday.

Three children were among 11 people killed by rebel fire on government-held areas of the city.

- © AFP, 2016

Read: Seven-year-old Syrian girl’s Twitter account disappears as Assad’s forces close in

Read: Tom Clonan: ‘It is possible that the US and Russia may carve up Syria and Iraq between themselves’

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