The Syrian government troops have made a “major breakthrough in their anti-terrorist operation” in eastern Aleppo, with nearly half of the eastern part of the city cleared of militants, the Russian Defense Ministry said Tuesday.
“The situation has radically changed in the last 24 hours due to well prepared and very precise actions by the Syrian troops,” the ministry’s spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said.
More than 80,000 Syrians, including tens of thousands of children, have been freed and provided with water, food and medical care in humanitarian centers, the spokesman added.
With the help of Russian war planes, the Syrian army has intensified the offensive on rebel positions in eastern Aleppo over the past two weeks to break their defense lines.
Aleppo, Syria’s former commercial center, has been bitterly contested by the Syrian army and the rebels due to its strategic location.
By retaking Aleppo, the Syrian government forces will have a clear upper hand in dealing with rebel fighters elsewhere in the country, analysts have said.