Syria presses Aleppo advance, as UN says hospitals near collapse

October 2, 2016 15:02

BEIRUT - Syrian government and allied forces advanced north of Aleppo, pressing their week-long offensive to take the insurgent-held part of the city after dozens of overnight air strikes hit the besieged eastern sector, state media and a monitor said on Sunday.

The Syrian military, supported by Iran-backed militias and Russian air power, began their offensive to take control of the whole of the divided city of Aleppo after a week-long ceasefire broke down last month.

An initial air campaign by Syrian government and allied forces more than a week ago was later reinforced by a ground offensive seeking to establish control over the besieged insurgent-held eastern half of the city.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and state television said the Syrian military and its allies advanced south from the Handarat refugee camp north of Aleppo city, which they took earlier this week, into the Shuqaif industrial area.

Zakaria Malahifji, of the Aleppo-based rebel group Fastaqim, told Reuters there were clashes in this area on Sunday.

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