: :inin Kyiv (EET)

Syria, Russia pound rebel-held Aleppo but advances halt – Reuters

Syrian`s military and Russian warplanes bombarded rebel-held districts of Aleppo on Saturday as Damascus`s allies said victory was near, but insurgents fought back and army advances halted after rapid gains during the week, according to Reuters.

Russia, whose military intervention helped turn the war in President Bashar al-Assad`s favor, said the Syrian government now controls 93 percent of second city Aleppo, a figure Reuters could not independently verify. Its recapture would deal a major blow to rebels who have fought to unseat Assad in the nearly six-year war, as reported by Reuters.

The insurgents are holed out in a handful of areas mostly south of the historic Old City, having lost nearly three-quarters of territory they controlled for years in the space of around two weeks.

A win for Assad in Aleppo looks close, but fighting still raged on Saturday.

Russian warplanes and Syrian artillery bombarded rebel-held districts, and rebels responded with shelling of government-controlled areas as gunfire rang out, a Reuters correspondent in Aleppo said.


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