Syrian government forces on Sunday retook six major rebel-held areas in Aleppo causing more than 10,000 civilians to flee the violence-struck region as the forces pressed for an offensive.
Rebels have engaged in months-long battle with the Syrian government and their Russian allies in eastern Aleppo and want to topple the government. The United Nations last week had proposed a truce for both the sides to terminate the violence by urging Damascus government to allow eastern Aleppo to be governed by a local administration if some 900 al-Qaida-linked militants fighting with the rebels leave the city. The Syrian government however had rejected the proposal citing that it was a matter of state sovereignty to retake the areas.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, in a breakthrough in its mission to retake the whole city from the rebels, the Syrian government succeeded in capturing six rebel-held areas including Jabal Badra, Baadeeen, Inzarat, Al-Sakan al-Shaabi and Ain al-Tall. The observatory said that the government forces are now in control of the "most of the northern part" of Aleppo
"The rebels have lost at least 30 percent of the territory they once controlled in Aleppo," chief of the monitoring group Rami Abdel Rahman said.
In the tussle between the government forces and the rebels in the region, around 275,000 civilians have been besieged for months in the city and face severe food and fuel shortages in the area.
According to the Observatory, around 10,000 civilians fled the eastern region of Aleppo on Saturday night after the government forces launched its offensive against the rebels. "It is the first exodus of this kind from east Aleppo since 2012," Rahman added.
At least 225 civilians, including 27 children, have been killed since the Syrian government lifted the ceasefire on November 15 and renewed its assault in the besieged region.
There were reports of the Syrian government destroying the last remaining hospital in the devastated region, according to the Syrian American Medical Society. However, the government denied any bombings in the region recently.