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rian forces seizing full control of Aleppo's old city, according to a monitor on Wednesday.
e complete seizure of Aleppo would be a triumph for Bashar al-Assad, in a civil war which has raged for more than five years.
uters Angus McDowall is covering the war from Lebanon.>> The insurgents who are there now find themselves at an increasingly small pocket of land. Although that might make it easier for them to defend, they have in fact found that their defenses have been collapsing with a speed that few people had expected.
It does prove a very big victory for Assad and his forces and allies. And they will now hope that they can soon turn from the wreckage of Aleppo, to focus on the swathes of other territory that insurgents still hold, and now with the momentum behind them.
Both Syria and its most powerful ally, Russia, have been calling on the rebels to surrender and leave safely.
Moscow wants to talk to the US to negotiate such a withdrawal. Now rebel officials say they won't cut and run. One, though, speaking anonymously, told Reuters they may not have much choice. For the sake of the tens of thousands of civilians still living in their districts.
But western countries say it won't end the conflict as long as millions of Syrians view the government as a brutal enemy.