Aleppo – Supported by the Russian Air Force, military forces loyal to the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad pushed deep into eastern Aleppo on Monday, capturing the rebel’s last redoubts.
“Pro-Assad forces are now in control of approximately 85% of eastern Aleppo,” local media activist Ayad al-Aliya told ARA News.
The Syrian Army, bolstered by Shia militias, has captured the al-Fardous, Karam al-Daada and Jisr al-Hajj Districts, forcing the armed opposition into a small indefensible pocket.
Their advance was preceded by one of the most intense bombardments in Syria’s 5-year-long conflict. Artillery shells and air strikes were widely photographed illuminating the night.
“Dozens of rebel fighters were killed in Monday’s clashes,” reported Sami Heydan, a human rights activist in Aleppo. “Many others were forced to evacuate their positions in the eastern part of Aleppo under heavy blows by pro-Assad forces and Russian warplanes.”
Surrender or Die
Throughout Monday, the Syrian government called on rebel holdouts, telling them to capitulate.
Lieutenant General Zaid al-Salih, chair of the Aleppo Security Committee, issued a harsh ultimatum to the besieged rebels: “This fight is over. If you want to save yourselves from further losses surrender to the Syrian Army or die.”
Speaking at a press conference in Sheikh Saeed neighborhood, al-Salih declared that “the battle for eastern Aleppo is in its final stage, and the army has liberated most of the areas there.”
The Syrian general added that the “remaining Islamist fighters are now besieged, and if they won’t surrender in the next few hours they’ll all die.”
Reporting by: Mir Yaqoub and Helin Saeed | Source: ARA News