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Thousands flee Aleppo fighting


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Thousands flee Aleppo fighting

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  • Thousands flee fighting in Aleppo
  • Even more may leave – UN
  • France asks for UNSC discussion


An estimated 16,000 people have been displaced as a result of Syrian government advances on rebel-held districts of Aleppo.

The news comes from the United Nations’ humanitarian chief, Stephen O’Brien.




Warning



Thousands more are likely to flee if fighting continues to spread in the coming days, O’Brien has warned.

Fleeing civilians are heading to uncertain and precarious situations amid the intense attacks.

The area has no functioning hospitals left, food stocks are nearly exhausted, O’Brien continued in a statement.

Read Stephen O’Brien’s full statement here



Why is this happening?



Syrian government and allied troops have pushed their way into northern parts of opposition-held eastern Aleppo in a wave of swift and dramatic advances.

There is also fighting on the southeastern edge of eastern Aleppo’s oppostion-held enclave, according to a rebel spokesman.

The assault has driven rebels from the northern part of their eastern Aleppo enclave.

The offensive has set off a wave of panic and flight from the besieged enclave.

A video released by the Syrian Central Military Media, showed people boarding buses to reportedly leave eastern Aleppo.

It also showed a weapons and missile factory allegedly found by the Syrian army in Sakhour neighbourhood in eastern Aleppo, after it was retaken from rebels on Monday.




Where are they going?



Many of the fleeing civilians are heading to government and Kurdish-controlled areas.

Others are being driven deeper into the remaining rebel-held areas.



What Russia says



Russia’s defence ministry says the Syrian army has made a breakthrough in Aleppo in the last 24 hours.

Russian news agencies say this has dramatically altered the situation on the ground.

“During the last 24 hours, thanks to very well-prepared and careful actions, Syrian soldiers were able to radically change the situation,” said Major-General Igor Konashenkov.

“Practically half of the territory occupied by rebels in recent years in the eastern part of Aleppo has been completely liberated,” Konashenkov added.



What the rebels say



“There are no new advances (by government forces) but the bombardment and battles are still fierce, particularly in Aziza,” an official in the Jabha Shamiya rebel group told the Reuters news agency.

The official says there is a large mobilisation of pro-government militias in the area on Monday night.



France asks for UN debate



The French Foreign Ministry has reportedly asked for an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council to be called to discuss the situation in Aleppo.





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