- Title: The Syrian army controls all of the Old City of Aleppo
- Date: 7th December 2016
- Summary: ALEPPO, SYRIA (DECEMBER 7, 2016) (VIDEO OBTAINED BY REUTERS) VARIOUS OF SMOKE RISING FROM OLD PART OF ALEPPO WRECKAGE IN A STREET SYRIAN SOLDIERS WALKING IN OLD CITY VARIOUS OF OLD CITY VARIOUS OF DAMAGE IN OLD CITY SIGN READING IN ARABIC "KHAN KHEIR BEK" VARIOUS OF SOLDIERS WALKING IN OLD CITY SOLDIERS WALKING THROUGH TUNNELS MORE OF SOLDIERS WALKING AROUND OLD CITY EXTERIOR OF ALEPPO CASTLE VARIOUS OF THE CASTLE SOLDIERS WALKING AROUND THE CASTLE SMOKE RISING VIEW OF ALEPPO MILITARY OFFICIALS WALKING THROUGH OLD CITY VARIOUS OF THE CASTLE SMOKE RISING FROM EASTERN ALEPPO WALLS OF ALEPPO CASTLE VARIOUS OF A PASSAGE NEAR ALEPPO CASTLE VARIOUS OF MEMBERS OF THE SYRIAN ARMY WALKING MOSQUE VARIOUS OF BUILDINGS DAMAGED BUILDING ABANDONED MACHINE GUN ALEPPO CASTLE LEADER OF THE MILITARY OPERATIONS OF THE GOVERNMENT FORCES THE MAJOR GENERAL ZAID SALAH STANDING SOLIDER STANDING NEAR THE SYRIAN FLAG (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) LEADER OF THE MILITARY OPERATIONS OF THE GOVERNMENT FORCES, MAJOR GENERAL ZAID SALEH, SAYING: "I am now at the position of Aleppo Citadel, this ancient historic fortress that expresses the strength of Aleppo and Syria. This fortress has stood strong throughout the past four years under the conditions of a complete siege, (it) was able to block all the terrorist attempts to take over this fortress. The fighting on the eastern side of Aleppo will continue with the Free Syrian Arab Army and the friendly forces, day and night, until we liberate these neighborhoods from all the terrorists in these neighbourhoods. The message we want to send to those armed terrorists is as follows: 'Either you come out in accordance to the Syrian conditions or you will meet your death for sure.'" VARIOUS OF SMOKE RISING FROM CITY
- Embargoed: 22nd December 2016 21:05
- Keywords: Syria Aleppo Old City army rebels
- Location: ALEPPO, SYRIA
- City: ALEPPO, SYRIA
- Country: Syria
- Reuters ID: LVA0015BVZVBB
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Syrian rebels in besieged eastern Aleppo called on Wednesday (December 7) for an immediate five-day ceasefire and the evacuation of civilians and wounded, but gave no indication they were ready to withdraw as demanded by Damascus and Moscow.
The Syrian army and allied forces have made rapid gains against insurgents in the past two weeks and look closer than ever to restoring full control over Aleppo, Syria's most populous city before the war, and achieving their most important victory of the conflict now in its sixth year.
The army now controls all of the Old City of Aleppo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site including the Umayyad Mosque, which had been held by rebels, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
Explosions and artillery fire could be heard in districts around the citadel which overlooks the Old City as the army pressed its offensive. More neighbourhoods were expected to fall but rebels were fighting ferociously.
Syrian state news agency SANA said rebel shelling killed 12 people in government-held districts of Aleppo.
Rebels have lost control of about 75 percent of their territory in eastern Aleppo in under 10 days, Director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdulrahman, said.
In a statement calling for the truce, the rebels made no mention of evacuating the several thousand fighters who are defending an ever shrinking area of eastern Aleppo.
Syria and Russia, which supports Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, have said they want rebels to leave Aleppo and will not consider a ceasefire unless that happens.
The Syrian government now appears closer to victory than at any point in the five years since protests against Assad evolved into an armed rebellion. The war in Syria has killed hundreds of thousands of people, made more than half of Syrians homeless and created the world's worst refugee crisis.
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