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UN Syrian Envoy Warns Of Brutal Aleppo Assault

A Syrian rescuer carries a woman who was saved from the rubble of a building following reported air strikes on Aleppo's rebel-held district of Al-Hamra on November 20.

The United Nations' envoy for Syria has warned that Syrian armed forces could launch a new offensive to crush resistance in eastern Aleppo before Donald Trump formally assumes the U.S. presidency on January 20.

Staffan De Mistura joined German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier on November 23 in calling for an end to the bombardment in Syria, and in Aleppo in particular.

Some European diplomats have said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad may feel emboldened by Trump's vow to build closer ties with Russia, and this may see Damascus push for a crucial victory in Aleppo.

The city has been devastated, and is the focus of some of the worst fighting of the six-year civil war.

Some 275,000 civilians remain in besieged rebel-held eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo.

Pro-government forces, meanwhile, pushed deeper into Syria on November 23, pressing a week-old offensive that's been bolstered by withering Russian air power.

Recapturing east Aleppo would be the government's biggest victory yet.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters