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Thousands flee to Turkey border amid fresh fighting in Aleppo

Thousands of Syrians have fled to the Turkish border as the city of Aleppo came under fresh attack from a Russian assault.

The exodus came after Syrian troops backed by allied militias and intense Russian air strikes launched an offensive in northern Syria, apparently aimed at eventually encircling the contested city of Aleppo.

International Affairs Editor Rageh Omaar reports:

Kerry: Syria ceasefire still being discussed

Syria peace talks are continuing, according to John Kerry Credit: REUTERS/Nicholas Kamm

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has said that discussions for a Syria ceasefire are underway but whether or not a resolution can be found may not be clear for a few days.

Speaking on the same day that it was revealed some 15,000 Syrians has gathered at the Turkish border in an effort to flee fresh violence in Aleppo, Kerry said it would soon become clear if Russia were serious about agreeing to a ceasefire.

He said: "The modalities of a ceasefire itself are also being discussed and the Russians have made some constructive ideas about how a ceasefire in fact could be implemented.

"But if it's just talks for the sake of talks in order to continue the bombing, nobody is going to accept that, and we will know that in the course of the next days."


Aid agencies urge Turkey to let fleeing Syrians cross border

Aid agencies have been urging Turkey to let the thousands of Syrian's fleeing fresh violence in Aleppo cross the border to safety, after reports that the border has been closed.

It comes as video emerged of crowds of Syrians walking towards a key crossing point between the two countries in an attempt to reach safety:

Rights group Amnesty International called on the nation to let people in and U.S. aid agency Mercy Corps warned the situation could escalate.

David Evans, Mercy Corps' Middle East program director, told Reuters: "It feels like a siege of Aleppo is about to begin".

Thousands flee to border amid fresh fighting in Aleppo

Tens of thousands amassed at the Turkish border on Friday Credit: RTV

Thousands of Syrians have fled to the Turkish border as the city of Aleppo came under fresh attack from a Russian assault.

As many as 15,000 people have gathered at the Bab al-Salam border crossing, carrying their belongings on their backs, as they sought refuge from the fighting.

Aleppo's mass exodus came as the UK's mission to the UN claimed Russia had completed at least 320 strikes north-west of the city while international Syrian peace talks were taking place.

At least ten dead in Aleppo missile attack

Ten dead in Aleppo after missile attack. Credit: Google Maps

A missile attack on a rebel-held area of the Syrian city of Aleppo has killed at least ten people, and wounded up to 50 people.

Women and children were among those killed in the attack on the Maghayer neighbourhood of the city.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said surface-to-surface missile also destroyed several houses in the area.

New year a moment for reflection in Syrian city

The transition to the new year is a moment for reflection as well as celebration in the Syrian city of Aleppo where scores of lives have been lost in the country's long-running civil war.

Activists stand over pictures of war victims under candles in a new year event in Salah al-Din neighbourhood in central Aleppo Credit: REUTERS/Hosam Katan

In one part of the city. activists spelled out of the digits '2015' with candles, illuminating photographs of some of the many war casualties.

A Free Syrian Army fighter sprays graffiti on a wall prior to the new year in Aleppo Credit: REUTERS/Jalal Al-Mamo

Elsewhere, an anti-government solider daubed the words 'happy new year' onto a wall underneath what could be a vase of flowers or a falling bomb.

New Year cakes are displayed outside a shop in Sheikh Maksoud neighbourhood of Aleppo Credit: REUTERS/Abdalrhman Ismail

What shopkeepers are left were preparing for celebrations to welcome in the new year.


Syrian runners race through the ruins of Aleppo

A participant runs past a damaged building as he competes in a running race along a street in Aleppo's Bustan al-Qasr Credit: Reuters/Mahmoud Hebbo

The battle-scarred streets of Aleppo were the extraordinary backdrop to a running race in Syria yesterday.

Several runners took part in the race across the rebel-held parts of the war-torn Syrian city.

Some reports suggest the race was in honour of the "Martyrs of the River" - a group of Syrians who were murdered and dumped in the river by forces loyal to President Assad last year.

Credit: Reuters/Mahmoud Hebbo

Aleppo is Syria's largest city and has been ravaged by over two years of fighting during the bloody civil war.

The race took place on 2nd December and the winner, Ahmad Sobhe, was presented with a trophy when he crossed the finished line.

Ahmad Sobhe holds up a trophy as he celebrates winning a running race in Aleppo's Bustan al-Qasr neighbourhood, a rebel-controlled area. Credit: Reuters/Mahmoud Hebbo

Man feeds scores of abandoned cats in war-torn Syria

An ambulance driver has taken it upon himself to feed scores of cats abandoned by their owners in a war-torn part of Syria.

Cats flocks to be fed by Alaa Credit: REUTERS/Hosam Katan

Alaa spends around £2.50 on meat each day to feed a small army of hungry strays - an act of kindness he has kept up for the past two months.

Alaa feeding a cat in the Aleppo district of Masaken Hanano Credit: REUTERS/Hosam Katan

Many of the cats in the district of Masaken Hanano in Aleppo face the risk of starvation after residents fled heavy shelling by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.

Cats wait for Alaa in Aleppo Credit: REUTERS/Hosam Katan

Alaa believes around 150 cats rely on his daily rounds.

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