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Thousands 'fleeing Aleppo' as government forces advance

Government advances are causing people to flee Credit: Reuters

Thousands of people have begun to flee districts of eastern Aleppo with government forces making significant advances into rebel-held territory.

Rebel defences appear to be rapidly failing with government-backed forces retaking a third of opposition-held Aleppo in recent days.

An estimated 250,000 people remain trapped in the besieged east of the city, with food supplies running perilously low.

And with the ongoing loyalist onslaught - believed to be the rebels' biggest defeat in Aleppo since 2012 - thousands of people are beginning to flee to government-held western districts of the city or deeper into rebel-controlled areas.

"The situation in besieged Aleppo (is) very, very bad, thousands of eastern residents are moving to the western side of the city," said Khaled Khatib, a photographer for the Syrian Civil Defense search-and-rescue group.

One Kurdish leader estimated that between 6,000 and 10,000 had fled.

Rebels 'lose third of Aleppo territory' in latest attacks

Rebels have lost significant ground in recent days Credit: Reuters

Syrian government forces have seized a key district in eastern Aleppo as rebels lost further ground in recent days.

Troops loyal to Bashar al-Assad re-took the strategic eastern district of al-Sakhour in a wider advance that has driven rebels from a third of their territory in the besieged city, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

It has also been reported that the rebels have lost control of the northern section of opposition-held eastern Aleppo.

Rami Abdulrahman, Director of the Observatory, said: "It is the biggest defeat for the opposition in Aleppo since 2012.

"The opposition has lost more than third of the area it controlled in Aleppo city during the big advance".



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