Smoke billows from the southern suburbs of Aleppo during fighting between regime forces and rebel fighters on December 3, 2016
More than 60 per cent of the rebel enclave of eastern Aleppo has now fallen to Syrian government forces, a monitoring group said on Saturday.
Government forces advanced further into the besieged enclave on Saturday, capturing the Jazmati district after taking the neighbouring Tariq al-Bab district the previous day, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
The two areas were in the central part of the city’s rebel-held eastern sector but became frontline zones after the northern part of the rebel enclave fell to government forces over the last week.
Rebels fighting to defend the last major urban centre in the hands of the Syrian opposition have, however, managed to fight off a government advance on another front in the south of the enclave.
Eastern Aleppo has been under siege for most of the last five months, with medical and food supplies almost exhausted.
It has been devastated by years of airstrikes by the government and, more recently, its Russian ally. The strikes have put almost all the area’s medical facilities out of action, adding to the desperation of its defenders and civilian population.
Over 30,000 civilians have fled as a result of the government advances since November 24, according to the United Nations, which warned that at least 400 critically wounded or sick people required immediate evacuation from the enclave.
The Britain-based Observatory has put the number fleeing higher, estimating that 50,000 people had left for government-controlled western Aleppo and a Kurdish-held area with 15,000 displaced inside the remaining areas of the enclave.
(Source / 04.12.2016)