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Syria Orders Rebels to Leave Aleppo    12/04 11:04

   ALEPPO, Syria (AP) -- The Syrian army on Sunday ordered rebels in Aleppo to 
leave the city or face "inevitable death," as a series of airstrikes on an 
opposition-held town elsewhere in the country killed 21 people, including three 

   Pro-government forces have been pushing deeper into besieged eastern Aleppo, 
taking back neighborhoods the rebels have held since 2012. The opposition has 
buckled after months of siege and waves of devastating airstrikes, and could 
soon be driven from Syria's largest city. It would mark their biggest defeat 
since the conflict began in 2011.

   Army spokesman Brig. Gen. Samir Suleiman told The Associated Press in Aleppo 
that government forces would "continue fighting until they restore stability 
and security to all neighborhoods." He said the army has already retaken more 
than half the neighborhoods in eastern Aleppo, and that special forces would 
lead the battle in the narrow streets of the city's historic district.

   The Pan-Arab Al-Mayadeen station, which has correspondents embedded with the 
Syrian military, aired footage of plumes of smoke and dust rising over the 
city, as gunfire and artillery echoed in the background.

   Government and allied Lebanese, Iraqi, and Iranian fighters swiftly captured 
the city's northeast in recent days, and the opposition's remaining enclave is 
collapsing. The U.N. estimates that more than 31,000 people have fled their 
homes to areas held by the government or Kurdish forces, or deeper into the 
embattled city.

   Elsewhere in Syria, activists reported a series of airstrikes in the 
opposition-held town of Kafranbel, some 50 miles (80 kilometers) from Aleppo.

   The activist-run Kafranbel Media Center published a list of 22 dead from the 
presumed Russian or Syrian airstrikes.

   The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed 21 dead, 
including members of the local religious police force. It said the airstrikes 
hit the town's main market.

   Russia's military said last month it was resuming airstrikes on the 
northwestern Idlib province, where Kafranbel is located, and in the central 
Homs province in support of government forces. Kafranbel is at least 7 miles 
(12 kilometers) from the nearest front line, at Jabal Zawiyeh.


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