Syria Army Makes New Gains, Pins Down Rebels In Aleppo

Syria army makes new gains, pins down rebels in Aleppo

ALEPPO, Syria, Dec 6, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 07th Dec, 2016 ) - Syria's army seized key ground Tuesday in its battle for east Aleppo, capturing more districts and penning rebels into less than a quarter of territory they held in mid-November. The advance came as Moscow and Washington traded barbs over stalled efforts to end fighting in the city, where forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad have made significant advances since last week.

But US Secretary of State John Kerry said he would try to get Syrian peace talks going again with Russia's help. On the humanitarian front, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said it was a "disgrace" that the international community had been unable to alleviate the suffering in east Aleppo. On Tuesday, government troops retook seven districts including the strategic Shaar neighbourhood and were in control of more than three quarters of former rebel territory in east Aleppo, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The monitor called Shaar "the most important neighbourhood in the heart of east Aleppo", and said rebels were being reduced to fighting a "war of attrition". The rapid regime gains have left opposition fighters scrambling to defend the shrinking enclave they still control in Aleppo's southeastern districts. Despite mounting criticism of the offensive begun on November 15, world powers have struggled to find a way to halt the fighting. "We have been trying to find a way to get to the negotiating table ... but Assad has never shown any willingness," Kerry said at a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels.