Half of rebel Aleppo falls to Syrian forces

Half of rebel Aleppo falls to Syrian forces

Remnants of an SS-21 Tochka tactical ballistic missile were photographed in the rebel enclave, indicating the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) was using much of the weaponry at its disposal.

Turkey and Russian Federation, who are backing opposing sides in the Syrian conflict, only said they agreed on the need for a cease-fire.

That is vital, according to Boulierac, who said Unicef staff meeting with children who have fled east Aleppo in recent days said "you could see the loss and horror in their eyes".

The conflict in Syria, which flared up in March 2011, has claimed the lives of more than 400,000 people, according to an estimate by UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura.

As the offensive goes on, more civilians are trying to leave eastern Aleppo where almost a hundred thousand are still trapped by the fighting. They must call for immediate and unhindered humanitarian access so that life-saving aid can reach all those in need. "We have informed the United Nations in NY and Geneva that there is no longer a problem with the delivery of humanitarian cargo to eastern Aleppo", Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters in Rome, according to a RIA Novosti news agency transcript.

"However, after the government troops recaptured more than 40 percent of the eastern districts of the city, home to some 90 thousand people, all proposals for the delivery of [UN] humanitarian aid to Aleppo stopped".

"The parties to the conflict in Syria have shown time and again that they are willing to take any action or do any deed to secure military advantage, even if it means killing, maiming or besieging civilians into submission in the process".

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One displaced woman interviewed in the government-held Jibreen district said her son was shot dead as he fled rebel areas.

"The protection situation for civilians remains precarious", Dujarric said, adding that reports have emerged of the detention of people crossing into government-held areas, while 45 civilians were reportedly killed by shelling on Nov 30 as they attempted to cross into west Aleppo.

Also on Friday, the government retook the town of Khan Al Shih just outside Damascus after rebel groups who had controlled it since 2012 left in return for safe passage to the rebel-held province of Idlib.

Elsewhere in his Friday remarks, Lavrov blamed the foreign-backed opposition for the stall of the intra-Syrian peace talks for more than six months, saying they "put forward ultimatums in the form of an absolute precondition to oust President [Bashar] Assad". Reports are coming in of the streets strewn with the bodies of fleeing people, with their baggage lying next to them.

In Friday's statement, Konashenkov called on Jan Egeland, a senior United Nations aid official for Syria, to move faster to provide aid to the area.

Gains by the Syrian army and its allies since last week have brought whole districts back under government control and led to an exodus as thousands have fled their pulverized neighborhoods near the rapidly shifting front lines.

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