Rebel-held east Aleppo nears collapse

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The Syrian army and its allied militias are pushing deeper into east Aleppo as rebel lines collapse and their last urban stronghold looks closer than ever to falling.

The fighters withdrew from at least six more east Aleppo neighbourhoods on Monday in the face of goverment advances, including al-Salheen, al-Firdous and Bustan al-Qasr, once one of the most fortified districts under opposition control.

Residents told Al Jazeera that government forces summarily executed dozens of civilians over alleged connections to opposition fighters. The figure could not be independently verified by Al Jazeera.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said at least 60 people were killed by gunfire or shelling on Monday as government forces pushed into the Aleppo’s remaining opposition-held districts.

“The battle of Aleppo has reached its end. It is just a matter of a small period of time, no more, no less … it’s a total collapse,” said Rami Abdel Rahman, the UK-based monitoring network’s director.

Syrian refugees in the Turkish border city of Gaziantep and the capital Istanbul held solidarity protests on Monday night in support of the people in east Aleppo, as the government stepped up its bombardment.

Syrian state TV reported that pro-government forces were in control of 99 percent of what once was opposition-held Aleppo.

The pro-government TV network Alikbariyah Syria broadcast footage of celebrations in the streets of west Aleppo, as people handed out chocolates and congratulated each other on “the victory”.

“The joy of the people and the army are one,” said one driver, wearing military fatigues.

Al Jazeera

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