Advertisement

Aleppo's Old City captured by Assad regime following rebel retreat

By Andrew V. Pestano
Aleppo's Old City captured by Assad regime following rebel retreat
The city of Aleppo was split between being rebel-controlled in the east and government-controlled in the west for about four years. After the Syrian regime began a new offensive to seize the east in mid-November, more than 730 civilians have died and 80,000 have fled the east, a human rights group said. On Wednesday, the regime's offensive allowed the capture of two districts, which led to the retreat of rebels from Aleppo's Old City. File Photo by Ahmad Deeb/UPI | License Photo

ALEPPO, Syria, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime on Wednesday captured Aleppo's Old City after rebels retreated -- giving the government control of three-quarters of east Aleppo, a human rights group said.

Rebels first captured east Aleppo four years ago and made it a stronghold. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said rebels retreated from the Old City after a regime offensive captured the Bab al-Hadid and Aqyul districts.

Advertisement

Assad's forces seized the Old City early Wednesday, increasing the likelihood the besieged rebels will be defeated as some debate whether to withdraw. Most rebel groups have agreed in theory to a withdrawal plan, but a small number of powerful hardline groups oppose it, The Washington Post reported.

After a pause in hostilities, Assad's regime began a new offensive to capture east Aleppo on Nov. 15, which has caused more than 730 civilian deaths and has led 80,000 civilians to flee the section of the city. Rebels on Wednesday called on the United Nations to oversee a five-day cease-fire to carry out medical and civilian evacuations from the east, where there is a humanitarian crisis.

Advertisement

"People have flocked there and the system can't cope. There are no resources, all day there is bombing," said Col. Abo Bakr, a representative of a group allied with the Free Syrian Army.

RELATED U.N. appeals for record $22.2B humanitarian funding in 2017

Latest Headlines

Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us

Advertisement