US-backed Rebels Flee Aleppo as Syrian Army Moves in
Syrian rebels have withdrawn from the old city of Aleppo after the latest advances by the Army of Bashar al-Assad and its allies.
The Syrian Army has now taken over the districts of Aquiul and Bab al Hadid, as reported Wednesday by the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights.
The NGO detailed that government forces “combed” that area, which is located between the so-called barracks of Hanano-district and that were taken from the rebels in late November.
The Syrian official news agency SANA said that military units “restored security and stability” in Aquiul and Bab al Hadid, where they guaranteed the departure of 200 civilians and detained “terrorists”.
The Observatory has said that the advance of the Syrian Army on Tuesday supported by intense air strikes and bombings, has caused insurgents to withdraw from the Old City, including the area around the Umayyad mosque.
Official media have announced that Assad forces have “restored security and stability” in the districts of Al-Shaar, Karm al Dada, Karm al Qatirji, Al Marjeh and Al-Sheikh Lutfi, all in the eastern part of Aleppo.
The Observatory said on Tuesday at least 11 people died, including three minors, from artillery shots by government troops in the Al Zabdie neighborhood and other areas in the east. The Syrian Observatory of Human Rights, a London-based organization, has been pointed as an untrustworthy source of information regarding the Syrian war.
A rebel leader based in Turkey has told Reuters that government forces have taken some areas of the Old City but have denied that they have taken over the whole city.
On November 15, the army and its allies – mainly Russians and Iranians – launched an offensive against opponents in Aleppo, where they have snatched more than 70 percent of the territory from the hands of US-backed rebels.
Recovering Aleppo’s control would be one of the Syrian regime’s biggest victories since the war began.
Aleppo has for years been divided between the eastern sectors, controlled by the rebel forces, and the west, dominated by the regime presided over by Bashar al-Assad.
The situation in Aleppo will be the focus of talks between Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry, who will meet in Hamburg today Wednesday.
The Syrian civil war, instigated directly and indirectly by the United States, has killed more than 350,000 people, has caused 5 million Syrians to flee their country and more than 7 million to be internally displaced.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, a Russian colonel died after being seriously injured in a rebel attack in Aleppo. The colonel, identified as Ruslán Galitstski, was part of a team of Russian military advisers in Syria and is the third Russian death confirmed this week in Aleppo.
The officer was wounded in an artillery fire attack launched by the guerrillas of the so-called armed opposition against the neighborhoods of the western part of Aleppo.
According to a press release, which does not specify when the colonel was wounded, “doctors fought to save his life for several days.”
On Monday, two Russian military doctors were killed and another health worker was seriously injured in a mortar fire attack against a Russian Defense Ministry field hospital in western Aleppo.
As a result of the impact of a projectile one of the doctors died at the scene, whereas the other one died hours later due to the severity of its wounds.
These so-called rebels are the groups supported by the United States, which John Kerry and the US diplomacy team say should be in power in Syria.