Are rebels losing grip over Aleppo?

Free Syrian Army member aims his weapon after hearing shooting in Aleppo.
Free Syrian Army member aims his weapon after hearing shooting in Aleppo. Photo: Reuters

Syria's Foreign Minister has predicted that rebels in Aleppo, the country's largest city, will soon be defeated.

Helicopter gunships opened fire over the city, as artillery pounded rebel-held districts of Aleppo. Rebels have been clashing with reinforced army troops there for several days.

This comes after Bashar al-Assad's government declared victory on Sunday in a hard-fought battle for Syria's capital Damascus.

Assad's forces have struggled as never before to maintain their grip on the country over the past two weeks after a major rebel advance into the two largest cities and an explosion that killed four top security officials.

Our International Correspondent John Irvine reports.