Monitor says Syrian army seizes Aleppo Old City from rebels

Women walk near damaged buildings in rebel-held besieged old AleppoA war monitor said on Wednesday the Syrian army had seized control of all parts of the Old City of Aleppo which had been held by rebels, part of an advance which has seen insurgents lose around two thirds of their main urban stronghold over the past two weeks. The Syrian army and allied forces began to enter the Old City on Tuesday, and are looking closer than ever to achieving their most important victory of the five-year-old civil war by driving rebels out of the besieged eastern sector of the city. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the army advance on Tuesday and overnight, which was supported by heavy air strikes and shelling, caused insurgents to withdraw from the historic Old City, including from the area around the historic Umayyad Mosque.



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Iraqi army launches fresh assault toward Mosul center

Iraqi army fires towards Islamic State militant positions in Mosul from the village of AdhbahBy Ahmed Rasheed and Patrick Markey BAGHDAD/ERBIL, Iraq (Reuters) – Iraqi army units surged toward the center of Mosul on Tuesday in an attack from the city's southeastern edges that could give fresh impetus to the seven-week-old battle for Islamic State's Iraqi stronghold. Campaign commander Lieutenant General Abdul Ameer Rasheed Yarallah was quoted by Iraqi television as saying troops had entered Salam Hospital, less than a mile (1.5 km) from the Tigris river running through the city center. If confirmed, that would mark a significant advance by the Ninth Armoured Division, which had been tied up for more than a month in close-quarter combat with Islamic State on the southeastern fringes of the city.



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