Syria military retake second area in Aleppo

Syrian government forces have retaken a second rebel-held district in eastern Aleppo, military sources say.

They say the army and its allies had “fully recaptured” Jabal Badro.

Hours earlier, rebel sources confirmed that neighboring Hanano district had fallen and was now under government control.

Hundreds of civilians have been fleeing into the government-controlled areas of Aleppo as troops make advances into the east of the city.

The Syrian army’s offensive to retake eastern Aleppo – home to some 275,000 people – is now into its 13th day.

The assault has killed 219 civilians, including 27 children, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Syrian state media quoted unnamed military sources as saying that Jabal Badro, which lies immediate south of Hanano, had been fully recaptured.

There has been no confirmation of this from the rebel side.

The fighting has set off a wave of civilians seeking refuge not only in other rebel areas, but also on the government side.

More than 400 residents fled the eastern districts of Haidaria and al-Shaar as the army advanced on Hanano, the Observatory said.

They were received by the army and taken to areas under their control in the west of the city.

Reports said others are moving out of the besieged neighborhoods of Hulluk, Sheikh Fares and Sakhour.

Retaking all of Aleppo would be a major victory for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad after five years of conflict.

Once Syria’s commercial and industrial hub, Aleppo has been divided roughly in two since 2012, with the government controlling the west and rebels the east.

In the past year, Syrian troops have broken the deadlock with the help of Iranian-backed militias and Russian air strikes.

Russia says its air force is active in other parts of the country, but not operating over Aleppo.

Reuters/Hauwa M.