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Syrian Government Forces Make Rapid Gains In Eastern Aleppo

Syrian families from various eastern districts of Aleppo are evacuated by bus on November 27 as Syrian pro-government forces continued their advance toward rebel-controlled districts.

Reports from Syria say government forces have made rapid advances into rebel-held eastern Aleppo, forcing thousands of civilians to flee.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad took control of the Jabal Badro and Baadeen neighborhoods on November 27.

Both are adjacent to Masaken Hanano, the largest opposition-controlled neighborhood in the city that government forces recaptured from rebel fighters on November 26.

Regime forces are now "in control of most of the northern part" of Aleppo, according to the observatory.

The Britain-based monitoring group also said nearly 10,000 civilians had fled battered eastern Aleppo.

It said at least 6,000 of them had fled toward the Kurdish-controlled neighborhood of Sheikh Maksouda and the rest went to government-held areas.

A spokesman in Syria for the Russian military, which is backing Assad with air strikes and other support, said on November 27 that government forces had "advanced substantially deep” into the eastern districts of Aleppo over the past two days, clearing their opponents out of "more than 2,000 buildings," Russia’s Interfax news agency reported.

Meanwhile, fighting continued to rage on November 27 between government forces and rebels in the districts of Sakhur and Al-Haidariyah.

If government troops control Sakhur, they will split rebel-held parts of eastern Aleppo in two from north to south.

Aleppo has been divided in two since 2012, with the government controlling the west and rebels the east.

Capturing all of the city would be a major victory for Assad after 5 1/2 years of fighting.

On November 15, the government resumed its offensive to retake rebel-held eastern districts, where some 250,000 civilians have been trapped.

The ground and air assault has killed at least 219 civilians, including 27 children, the observatory said.

Assad's harsh crackdown on pro-democracy protesters and government opponents in 2011 evolved into a multisided civil war that has killed more than 250,000 people and displaced more than 11 million.

With reporting by AFP, Reuters, dpa, and the BBC
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