Syrian regime calls on Aleppo rebels to surrender

Relentless Russian and Syrian air campaign in east Aleppo has damaged hospitals and water supplies

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Syrian rebels and pro-government forces clashed Sunday on several fronts around Aleppo as the country’s military command called on rebels to lay down their weapons and evacuate the contested city.

The Syrian military, supported by Iranian-backed militias and Russian air power, began their push to take the whole of the divided city after a ceasefire collapsed last month. The assault has nearly destroyed eastern Aleppo’s healthcare system, the U.N said.

An air campaign by the Syrian government and its allies was reinforced by a ground offensive targeting the besieged eastern half of the city where insurgents have been holding out.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Syrian military said the army and its allies had advanced south from the Handarat refugee camp north of Aleppo city, which they took earlier this week, taking the Kindi hospital and parts of the Shuqaif industrial area.

Air strikes and shelling continued on Sunday, the Observatory said.

Zakaria Malahifji, of the Aleppo-based rebel group Fastaqim, told Reuters there were clashes in this area on Sunday.

The Observatory added that there was fierce fighting between rebels and government forces all along the front line which cuts the city in two.

The Syrian army said on Sunday that rebel fighters should vacate east Aleppo and it would guarantee them safe passage and necessary aid.

“The army high command calls all armed fighters in the eastern neighborhood of Aleppo to leave these neighborhoods and let civilian residents live their normal lives,” the statement carried by state news agency SANA said.

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