Syrian army presses Aleppo advance as attacks kill civilians

As government forces pressed an assault in the divided city, regime artillery fire killed at least 21 civilians in east Aleppo on Wednesday morning, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said.

On Wednesday morning, 26 civilians including seven children were killed in government artillery fire on the Jubb Al Qubbeh district in east Aleppo, the observatory said.

Intensified ground fighting and indiscriminate aerial bombardment over the past few days in eastern Aleppo has reportedly killed and injured scores of civilians, he said.

Thousands of people are fleeing rebel-held areas of eastern Aleppo.

The Syrian Civil Defense, a team of first responders also known as the White Helmets, said airstrikes hit a group of civilians fleeing to Bab al-Nairab district from government advances in the north, killing 25.

About 30,000 people are receiving aid after fleeing the besieged eastern zone of Aleppo in the past few days, taking the total number of displaced people in the Syrian city to more than 400,000, United Nations special envoy Staffan de Mistura says.

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Meanwhile, eight civilians, including two children, were killed in shelling on the government-held western side of the city, according to state media.

Tens of thousands of Syrians have fled the rebel-held neighborhoods of eastern Aleppo, as Syrian regime forces make major gains.

He said there was no longer any properly functioning hospital in eastern Aleppo, which has been under siege for almost 150 days and that most of the people trapped inside don't have the means to survive much longer.

The Lebanese Al-Manar TV channel reported from the Aleppo countryside that Assad forces were advancing in the southern portion of the city's opposition enclave. ICRC spokeswoman Krista Armstrong said the figure was an estimate and the situation remained fluid as "people are fleeing in different directions".

The Russian military says it's sending a field hospital to Aleppo.

Rebel groups, which have controlled eastern Aleppo for more than four years, on Thursday announced a new alliance, the Aleppo's Army coalition, under the leadership of a rebel named Abu Abdul Rahman Nour.

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The U.N. Humanitarian Chief Stephen O'Brien said he was "extremely concerned" about the fate of civilians, saying new displacements are likely.

The Observatory said hundreds of people hade been arrested after crossing into government-held areas of the city, and that 300 people were "missing".

The U.N. envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, said he could not say how long eastern Aleppo would hold out.

British Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday described the situation in Aleppo as "horrific" and called on Russian Federation to act.

The military official added that Russian radiation, chemical and biological security specialists would be deployed following "confirmed reports" that militants used handmade chemical weapons against civilians in Aleppo.

He denounced what he claimed were massacres in the country committed by the Syrian regime, Russia, Iranian militias and others.

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Some of the displaced have been sleeping in streets after arriving in remaining rebel-held territory, with others seeking refuge in abandoned buildings left behind by earlier waves of fleeing residents.


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