x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Syrian forces push into Aleppo

State television claims president Bashar Al Assad's forces have taken control of the commercial district, however rebels, who have been running low on ammunition, say the clashes are continuing.

BEIRUT // Syrian state television said today forces loyal to president Bashar Al Assad had taken control of the southern Salaheddine district of Aleppo, killing most of the rebels there and had entered other parts of the city in a fresh offensive.

However, a rebel spokesman in Salaheddine denied Syrian forces were in total control of the area.

"Syrian forces are positioned on one side of Salaheddine but they haven't entered and clashes are continuing," Abu Mohammed told Reuters by telephone.

State television said that dozens of "terrorists" were killed in the central district of Bab Al Hadeed, close to the ancient citadel, and Bab Al Nayrab in the south east.

Salaheddine, the southern gateway to Syria's biggest city, has been used as a rebel base for three weeks but a Reuters witness said some positions were abandoned on Wednesday morning.

Opposition fighters in Aleppo have been running low on ammunition in recent days as Assad reinforced his troops in preparation for an assault on rebel-held districts.