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The Syrian Arab Army army captured all parts of the Old City, the historic center of Aleppo held by rebels.
Over recent months, Aleppo became major battleground in Syria, engaging government forces, terrorists and numerous opposition groups. Eastern Aleppo is currently encircled by government troops, and the fighting has affected thousands of civilians still trapped in the city.
Previous internationally mediated ceasefires have collapsed as militants continued attacks and opposition failed to expel al-Nusra Front, which is now known as Jabhat Fatah al Sham, from the city.
The army began an advance operation to enter the Old City on Tuesday. According to the local media, the Syrian armed forces control more than 65% of the East Aleppo.
“The remnants of terrorist armed groups are completely knocked out of the old quarters of Aleppo. The enemy is defeated and flees to the southern districts, to the remained terrorist outposts”- a Syrian army militiaman told RIA Novosti.
RT crew first to reach liberated area of Aleppo’s Old City
Battles continue between pro-government forces and insurgents in Aleppo’s Old City, with Damascus slowly winning back territory. RT’s Lizzie Phelan and her crew were the first journalists to visit the regions just captured by the government.
“It is still not entirely safe here. The opposition forces are only a couple of hundreds of meters away. The area needs to be cleaned from unused weapons and mines left,” she reported by phone.
She said her crew saw many weapons abandoned by the militants stashed in buildings, including the home-made gas cylinder rockets they have been using to shell government forces.
“The battle to take the old city over the last few days has been extremely fierce. Opposition forces have been disparate the fight back and prevent government advances. They have been relentlessly shelling the government-held areas of Aleppo. There have been many civilian casualties [there],” Phelan added.
Footage her film crew took an area of the Old City captured by the government overnight shows a mortar position used to fire into western Aleppo in the courtyard of a former bakery that was used to store shells.
Phelan added that residents of the captured areas now have the chance to escape the frontline and meet relatives they had been separated from. The terrorists and rebel militants prevented civilians from leaving for the government-held part of the city.
“Many of those people have not seen their relatives for over four years,” she said.
Meanwhile, Syrian government forces have taken ten more districts in eastern Aleppo over the last 24 hours, according to the Russia-backed Center for Syrian Reconciliation. Forty-five districts are now said to be under the Syrian Army’s control.
The part of the city controlled by terrorists and rebel militants has been steadily shrinking over the past week as the Syrian army advances on their positions.
Earlier, Russia offered the remaining rebels the opportunity to pull out of the city, while warning that those who refuse the offer and stay will be considered terrorists and, thus, legitimate targets. It was expected that the solution would be backed by the US, but American diplomats abruptly postponed talks scheduled for this week, while withdrawing its own proposal, which reportedly detailed the pullout plan.
Two more neighborhoods in Aleppo city in the army’s hands
The Syrian Arab Army has intensified its military operations against terrorist organizations in Aleppo, in cooperation with the supporting forces, restoring security to several neighborhoods in Aleppo city over the past 24 hours.
SANA reporter announced late Tuesday that the army units, in cooperation with the supporting forces, restored security and stability to the neighborhoods of Aghiour and Bab al-Hadid in Aleppo city, while others secured departure route for more than 200
civilians and captured a number of terrorists.
Earlier on Tuesday, the army also restored security to the neighborhoods of Karm al-Dada, Karm al-Qatirji, al-Shaar, al-Marjeh and al-Sheikh Lutfi in Aleppo city and Tallet al-Shurta (hill) to the east of Aleppo.
An army unit targeted gatherings and movements of ISIS terrorists in al-Qassr village, about 40 km northeast of Sweida city in the southern Sweida province.
A military source told SANA on Tuesday that the army operation left a number of terrorists dead or injured, in addition to destroying two cars for them.
An army unit destroyed a hideout, two vehicles and two machine gun positions for Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists in al-Nazihin Camp in Daraa al-Balad area in Daraa province.
Russian Military Says Thousands of Mercenary-terrorists
Leaving Khan al-Shih in South Syria
Thousands of terrorists surrendered and left the Syrian town of Khan al-Shih, the Russian military announced.
Some 3,000 militants laid down arms and left the town of Khan al-Shih near Damascus in southern Syria after agreeing to join the ceasefire, the Russian reconciliation center said Wednesday.
“After long and troublesome talks an agreement has been made with militants to join the cessation of hostilities regime,” Col. Alexei Leschchenko from the reconciliation center said.
The rebels handed in more than 500 firearms, sniper rifles and dozens of 120mm mortars, according to the center. Thousands of fighters and their families left aboard 52 buses, a RIA Novosti correspondent said, adding the town was almost entirely razed.
After the rebels’ departure, inhabitants started returning to Khan al-Shih to rebuild their homes. They escaped the town after militants moved in four years ago. It used to be under control of the al-Qaeda linked Nusra Front, who renamed itself to Jabhat Fateh al-Sham.
A Russian military advisor killed in terrorist shelling in Aleppo
Russian Ministry of Defense announced that a Russian military adviser has died in Syria after shelling by terrorist groups on a residential neighborhood in the western parts of Aleppo city.
Colonel Ruslan Galitsky has died in the hospital from severe wounds. Russian military doctors had been fighting for his life for a few days. The serviceman was wounded during shelling of a residential neighborhood in western Aleppo by militants of the so-called opposition, the Ministry said in statement on Wednesday.
It added that Colonel Ruslan Galitsky was working with a group of Russian military counselors.
The adviser would be posthumously given a top military award, according to the Ministry.
On Monday, the terrorist organizations targeted with a rocket shell a Russian mobile hospital in al-Furqan neighborhood in Aleppo city, claiming the life of two Russian doctors and injuring others on Monday.
Russian sappers continue mine clearance op
in liberated east Aleppo
Major Ivan Gromov, Commander of the clearing detachment of the International Mine Action Centre of the Russian Armed Forces (from Russian):
We received a request for mine clearance at the water pumping station of the city of Aleppo. My group arrived here, it is inspecting the nearby area of the station. Due to the fact that the station is vital for the city – the entire water supply in the city comes from this station – we can say that we are the first ones to come here for the inspection after liberation.”
Major Ivan Gromov, Commander of clearing detachment of the International Mine Action Centre of the Russian Armed Forces (from Russian):
“The inspection was not conducted in vain, we found cable-operated landmines. Militants planned to carry out a demolition of the subassemblies that supply water to the city. The sappers have already removed most of the mines. Currently the sappers continue the inspection of the basement and nearby buildings.”
Russian sappers continued mine clearance operations in the liberated districts of eastern Aleppo on Wednesday.
The commander of the clearing detachment Major Ivan Gromov reported from the site that his group arrived to inspect a water pumping station which is “vital” to the city.
According to Gromov, the “inspection was not conducted in vain” as the sappers “found cable-operated landmines,” adding that the mines were planned to be used by militants to “carry out a demolition of the subassemblies that supply water to the city.”
The squad of the International Mine Action Centre from the Russian Armed Forces arrived at the Hmeymim airbase in Latakia on Saturday. The group reportedly includes specialists that previously took part in mine clearance operations in the Syrian city of Palmyra.
Terrorist attack on al-Fouaa in Idleb kills 5,
causes the only hospital to go out of service
The only hospital in the terrorist-besieged al-Fouaa town in the northern countryside of Idleb went out of service after it was hit with a rocket shell fired by Jaish al-Fatah terrorists.
Local sources in the town told SANA reporter by phone that terrorists targeted the town with several rocket shells, leaving 5 people dead and 9 others injured.
The sources confirmed that the town’s only hospital was hit in the attack and went out of service as a result of that.
A similar attack targeted the adjacent Kefraya town, which is also besieged by the terrorists, causing material damage to the public and private properties.
6 workers killed in terrorist roadside bomb attack in Hasaka
Six people who work at the Rmeilan Oil fields were killed when a roadside bomb planted by terrorists went off northeast of Hasaka city.
SANA reporter in the northeastern Hasaka province said Wednesday that terrorists targeted with an explosive device a car affiliated to al-Rmeilan Oil Field Directorate that was moving on the road linking al-Qahtaniyeh town with Tawil village, about 170
km northeast of Hasaka city.
He confirmed that 6 workers were killed in the attack, while 9 others were injured, noting that one of the wounded is in critical condition.
SOURCES: SANA ~ SANA ~ RTNews ~ SputnikNews Submitted by SyrianPatriot, Lone Bear War Press Info Network at : https://syrianfreepress.wordpress.com/2016/12/07/aleppo-old-city-1/ ~ Re-publications are welcome, but we kindly ask you, to facilitate the correct information's diffusion, to cite all these original links and sources.
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