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Syrian PM: Russian Air Force, Syrian Army Preparing To Retake Aleppo

The Russian Air Force and Syrian Army are preparing to retake Aleppo from rebels, Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halaki told visiting Moscow lawmakers on April 10.

"We, together with our Russian partners, are preparing for an operation to liberate Aleppo and to block all illegal armed groups which have not joined or broken the cease-fire deal," the TASS news agency quoted him as saying.

Dmitry Sablin, a member of Russia's upper house of parliament and a member of the Russian delegation, told the RIA news agency that "Russian aviation will help the Syrian Army's ground offensive operation".

Clashes around the Syrian city of Aleppo killed at least 16 pro-regime fighters and 19 members of an Al-Qaeda affiliate and allied rebel groups in the last 24 hours, a monitoring group said on April 10.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that fighting continued past midnight on several fronts south of Aleppo province.

Islamic State militants and the Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Nusra Front are excluded from the truce brokered by the United States and Russia.

The cease-fire came into effect in February with the aim of paving the way for a resumption of peace talks to end the five-year-long war.

Based on reporting by TASS, Reuters, and AFP