Russia Says to Start Talks with U.S. on Aleppo Rebel Withdrawal

BEIRUT/MOSCOW (Reuters) – The Russian government said on Monday it would start talks with Washington on a rebel withdrawal from Aleppo this week as Russian-backed Syrian forces fought to seize more territory from rebels who are struggling to avoid a major defeat.

The latest army attack, which saw fierce clashes around the Old City, aims to cut off another area of rebel control in eastern Aleppo and tighten the noose on opposition-held districts where tens of thousands of people are trapped.

Advances in recent weeks have brought Damascus, backed militarily by Russia, Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah, closer to recapturing Syria’s second largest city before the nearly six-year war and a prize long sought by President Bashar al-Assad. The rebels are now reduced to an area just kilometers across.

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