Aleppo: In a significant victory against the rebels, the Syrian government forces on Monday 0recaptured a major district of Aleppo, leaving rebellions cornered in a small pocket as the battle for the city entered its "final phase".
According to a monitor and military official, President Bashar al-Assad's forces held more than 90 percent of the onetime opposition stronghold of east Aleppo and appeared on the verge of retaking the entire city.
A Syrian military official in Aleppo was quoted as saying by AFP the "operation in eastern neighbourhoods is entering its final phase", as fierce clashes were reported in the few districts of the city left under rebel control.
The fall of Aleppo would deal the rebels their worst defeat since the beginning of Syria's conflict in 2011, and leave the government in control of the country's five major cities.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group reported early today that the army had captured the large Sheikh Saeed district in southeast Aleppo.
Syrian official media later confirmed the recapturing of Sheikh Saeed, with state television showing what it said was live footage from the neighbourhood.
Only the districts of Mashhad and Sukkari now remain under opposition control, said the Britain-based Observatory, with others divided between the opposition and advancing troops.
Overnight and into Monday morning, government warplanes and artillery pounded the remaining rebel-held territory in the east of the city.
However, as bombardment in the region continues, another 10,000 people had fled rebel areas in the previous 24 hours, bringing the total number of those who have left - mostly to government-held territory - to 130,000, according to the Syrian Observatory.
More than 300,000 people have been killed in Syria's war, and over half the country displaced.
With AFP inputs