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The New Arab

Syrian rebels lose ground to regime forces in Aleppo

The regime's advances undo all of the progress made recently by rebel fighters [AFP]

Date of publication: 12 November, 2016

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Syrian regime fighters backed by Russian bombing have won back territory lost to rebels during last month's Aleppo offensive.

Syrian regime forces have recaptured all ground taken by rebel fighters in last month's Aleppo offensive, strenghtening Damascus' siege on the east of the city.

The Syrian army and Iranian-backed militias recaptured key areas including the western district of Dahiyet al-Assad and the village of Minyan outside the city, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Russian warplanes launched massive air raids on the villages of Mansoura, Kfar Dael and Tadil on the western suburbs of the city.

A number of civilians - including women and children - local sources told The New Arab.

The regime's advances undo all of the progress made during a recent push by opposition fighters as they tried to end a government siege on eastern Aleppo city.

Regime forces surrounded rebel-held east Aleppo in July, severing the last supply line into opposition neighbourhoods and imposing a blockade that has led to food and fuel shortages.

Rebels have tried several times to break the siege, succeeding briefly in August, but no aid has entered the east since July.

The Observatory said over 450 fighters and civilians had been killed since the rebels began their latest bid to break the siege on 28 October.

The dead include 215 Syrian and foreign opposition fighters - including some who carried out suicide bomb attacks - and 143 regime forces.

Nearly 100 civilians were also killed in the fighting, the majority of them in regime-held west Aleppo, where 29 children were among those killed in waves of rebel rocket fire, according to Damascus.

Once Syria's economic powerhouse, Aleppo has been ravaged by the war that began with anti-government protests in March 2011.

The city has been divided since mid-2012, and in September, the government announced an operation to recapture all of Aleppo.

The regime assault, backed by Russian warplanes, has killed hundreds of people in east Aleppo and damaged and destroyed infrastructure including hospitals.

More than 300,000 people have been killed in Syria's five-year war.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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