The Syrian Army has officially reconquered Aleppo after ousting rebels from the eastern part of the city.

Local ground forces made significant advances on Monday after seizing the Sheikh Saeed district. This strategic move left rebels surrounded and trapped in a miniscule part of the city. Rebel fighter Zakaria Malahifji Fastaqim called the situation “extremely difficult.”

The Syrian army continuously bombarded rebel areas all through Sunday night, according to a Reuters journalist in the government held zone. The rebels had little choice but to “surrender or die,” Lieutenant Gen. Zaid al-Saleh, director of Syria’s security committee, told reporters in the Sheik Saeed district.

The Battle of Aleppo lasted more than four years after fighting broke out on July 19, 2012. In 24 hours leading up to the victory, approximately 10,000 to 13,000 civilians fled the city, bringing the total number of refugees up to around 130,000, according to reports.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that Russia is currently working toward the safe evacuation of people from Aleppo.

Meanwhile, on Monday morning some 4,000 Daesh militants launched an offensive on Palmyra, Syria armed with heavy weaponry, armored vehicles, and tanks. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov noted the offensive may have been “orchestrated,” while former UK ambassador to Syria said the US and its allies “didn’t lift a finger to try to stop [the Daesh offensive] happening,” despite having sophisticated and well-developed surveillance capabilities that likely could have detected the regrouping of Daesh militants and their vehicles en route to Palmyra.

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