Syrian rebel groups have told the United States they will not leave Aleppo in response to Moscow’s call for talks with Washington over a full withdrawal of rebel fighters from the city’s besieged eastern districts, a rebel official said.

Speaking to Reuters from Turkey, senior rebel official Zakaria Malahifji said the message was delivered to U.S. officials in contacts on Saturday night following the statement from Russia, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s most powerful ally.

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