Rebels reject Aleppo exit as army advances
Russia said it would hold talks with US on Tuesday on a total rebel withdrawal from Syria’s Aleppo, but opposition factions have rejected any evacuation. President Bashar al-Assad’s forces have seized two-thirds of the former rebel bastion in east Aleppo since they began an operation to recapture all of the battered second city in mid-November. The rapid regime gains have left opposition fighters reeling and come ahead of talks in Geneva on Tuesday on a rebel evacuation. ”During the Russian-American consultations the concrete route and timeframe for withdrawal of all fighters from eastern Aleppo will be agreed upon,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
Rebel shelling kills 2 Russian nurses in Aleppo
Rebel shelling killed two Russian nurses and eight civilians in Aleppo, and a Russian fighter jet crashed as it was returning to an aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean after a sortie over Syria, but the pilot ejected safely, Moscow officials said. The shelling on Monday that targeted government-controlled western Aleppo was one of the most intense in recent days. It coincided with a crushing air and ground assault that has seen forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad recapture more than half of opposition-held eastern Aleppo. Russia and militias allied with Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah have been staunch supporters of Assad in his country’s bitter civil war, now in its sixth year.