70% of Eastern Aleppo Under Control of Syrian Army


Over the past 24 hours, 1,200 civilians left Aleppo’s districts controlled by terrorists

©EPA/ALI MUSTAFA


HMEIMIM /Syria/, December 7. /TASS/. Syria’s government forces have regained control over 15 districts of the city of Aleppo, retaking 70% of the city’s eastern part from militants, the Russian center for reconciliation of warring sides in Syria said on Wednesday.

“In the past 24 hours, on December 7, the Syrian army liberated 15 districts of eastern Aleppo from militants,” the statement said. “Hence, 50 districts of the city’s eastern part are now under control of the Syrian authorities, which makes about 70% of the territory earlier controlled by militants.”

Over the past 24 hours, 1,200 civilians left Aleppo’s districts controlled by militants. The Russian reconciliation center provides them with hot meals, warm clothing and essentials. Besides, the statement says that 66 militants laid down their arms and left for western Aleppo. In line with the Syrian president’s decree, they were amnestied.

The Russian Defense Ministry declared the establishment of the reconciliation center on February 23. It is headquartered at the Hmeimim air base, Latakia province. The center was set up in line with agreements reached by Russia and the United States to facilitate the negotiations between the Syrian government and opposition and to organize humanitarian deliveries.

Syrian troops take full control over 47 quarters of eastern Aleppo

HMEIMIN, December 7. /TASS/. Syrian troops have cleared of terrorists two more quarters of eastern Aleppo, the Russian Center for Reconciliation said on Wednesday. According to the center, Syrian troops have taken full control over 47 quarters of the city so far.

“The Syrian forces have recaptured 47 quarters of eastern Aleppo previously controlled by militants. On December 7, two more quarters of eastern Aleppo were cleared of militants as well as a commanding height in the Sheikh Lufti district,” the center said.

In mid-November, Syrian government forces launched an operation to free eastern Aleppo (360 kilometers from Damascus) with a total of 270,000 residents, according to UN estimates. Military experts in Damascus said earlier that the battle for Aleppo had reached a turning point as the army recaptured 65% of the city territory seized by the militants in 2012.

Russian sappers start clearing eastern Aleppo from mines

MOSCOW, December 7. /TASS/. Bomb disposal specialists from Russia’s international mine-clearing center have started combing the eastern part of Syria’s Aleppo to clear it of mines and unexploded ordnance, the Rossiya-24 round-the-clock television news channel said.

The commander of the mine-clearing group, Ivan Gromov, told the channel in an interview multi-storey buildings in the area were many, so the operation will be very time-consuming.

“We spend much time on examining every tiny wire, because the effects of touching it are anyone’s guess,” he explained.

The TV channel also showed Russian bomb disposal specialists in action using specially trained dogs. According to the report, the militants planted mostly makeshift bombs all over the city.

The first group of Russian sappers arrived at Hmeymim airbase in Syria on December 3. The Defense Ministry said it was sending the most experienced specialists with a previous experience of such operations, including those held in Palmyra. The detachment includes a group of special dogs and their handlers.

Russia’s General Staff said that 200 servicemen and 50 pieces of military equipment will be taking part in the mine clearance operations.

Earlier, Russian sappers demined Palmyra, which was recaptured from the Islamic State (a terrorist group outlawed in Russia) last March. Russian military personnel inspected more than 2,500 buildings and structures and rendered harmless about 17,500 explosive items.

Russia’s center for the reconciliation of warring factions in Syria has said Syrian government troops over the past 24 hours have regained from militants another ten residential areas in the eastern part of Aleppo, thus taking the number of quarters freed from terrorists to 45.