06:48 GMT +325 May 2019
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    Syrian pro-government forces stand on top of a building overlooking Aleppo in the city's Bustan al-Basha neighbourhood on November 28, 2016

    Syrian Army Controls 70% of East Aleppo - Russian Defense Ministry

    © AFP 2019 / GEORGE OURFALIAN
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    The Russian Defense Ministry said that the Syrian government forces control 70 percent of east Aleppo prevously controlled by militants.

    According to the Russian center for Syrian reconciliation, the Syrian army gained control over 50 east Aleppo districts.

    "The Syrian government fully controls 50 districts of eastern part of the city [Aleppo], which is about 70 percent of the territory previously controlled by militants."

    A total of 66 militants have surrendered arms and left east Aleppo over the past 24 hours, the center said. They were granted amnesty by the Syrian government.

    "Over the day, 66 militants have surrendered arms and left for the eastern parts of the city. They were granted amnesty, according to the decision by the Syrian president."

    According to the statement, a total of 1,224 civilians left the terrorist-controlled areas of eastern Aleppo in the past 24 hours.

    Over the weekend, the Syrian army backed by local militia liberated a number of districts in eastern Aleppo and is leading the offensive further after militants refused to surrender and leave the city peacefully.

    Aleppo became major battleground in Syria over recent months, engaging government forces, terrorists and numerous opposition groups. Eastern Aleppo is currently encircled by government troops, and the fighting has affected thousands of civilians still trapped in the city. Previous internationally mediated ceasefires have collapsed as militants continued attacks and opposition failed to expel jihadists from the city.

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    Russian Defense Ministry, Syria, Aleppo
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