Syrian army’s Aleppo advance slows but victory in sight

The Syrian army’s advance in Aleppo slowed on Thursday but a victory was still firmly in sight after President Bashar al-Assad vowed that retaking the nation’s second city would change the course of the six-year civil war in his favour. Lightning gains in recent days in which government forces and their allies recaptured Aleppo’s historic Old City lost some momentum in the face of stiff rebel resistance but the Syrian leadership was confident. Assad has long sought to seize divided Aleppo which would put him in control of Syria’s major…

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Army of 6,000 foreign and Syrian fighters plan attack on east Aleppo

As the most intensive air bombardment of the war has rained down on opposition-held east Aleppo this week, an army of some 6,000 pro-government fighters has gathered on its outskirts for what they plan will be an imminent, decisive advance. Among those poised to attack are hundreds of Syrian troops who have eyed the city from distant fixed positions since it was seized by Syrian rebels in mid-2012. But in far greater numbers are an estimated 5,000 foreign fighters who will play a defining role in the battle – and…

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