Islamic State militants and Syria’s Russian-backed army fought over the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra on Sunday, with both sides claiming the upper hand.
Russian military said 14 rebels had also surrendered to Syrian government forces, laying down their weapons and crossing into western Aleppo.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused the United States of stalling talks on evacuating remaining rebel-held parts of the Syrian city of Aleppo.
Syrian rebels in besieged eastern Aleppo called for an immediate five-day ceasefire, negotiations about the future of the city and for medical and civilian evacuations.
Rebel-held districts of Aleppo, reduced to a few kilometers across, where tens of thousands of civilians are trapped, looks set to fall.
SYRIA POLITICS: No 7-Day Truce, No Halting In Offensive Against Rebels, Russia Vetoes UN Security Council Resolution
Syrian government and its allies are now about 800 metres from the citadel. They’re in control of 60 percent of what used to be the rebel-controlled east.
“Those armed groups who refuse to leave eastern Aleppo will be considered to be terrorists,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
Restoring full control over Aleppo would mark the biggest triumph yet for Assad in a war that spiraled from protests against his rule in 2011.
Syrian government forces captured 60 percent of the area previously held by rebels in eastern Aleppo after gaining new ground on the city’s eastern edge.
United Nations is scaling up its presence in western Aleppo to help with aid effort but also to monitor the treatment of people fleeing the besieged zone.
Jabha Shamiya group has received support from Turkey and other states that want Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad removed from power.
Syria and its allies to drive rebels from Aleppo before Donald Trump takes office as U.S. President, senior official in pro-Damascus military alliance said.
Syrian army and its allies drove rebels from strategically important area of eastern Aleppo, the army and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
US Defence Secretary Carter said the soldier’s death was painful reminder of the dangers our men and women in uniform face around the world to keep us safe.
The president-elect Donald Trump has signaled opposition to U.S. support for the Syrian rebels, and an overhaul of policy on Syria.
U.N. humanitarian adviser said on Friday the besieged population of eastern Aleppo faced a “very bleak moment” with no food or medical supplies.
Assad said Donald Trump the Republican leader had made promising comments on the need to battle Islamists in Syria’s war but “can he deliver?”
Syrian Assad and his allies hope to benefit from Donald Trump’s election win, believing it has saved them from an interventionist Clinton administration.
A Syrian military source said the army and allied forces were in complete control of the area and surrounding hills.
Across the border, U.S.-backed Syrian fighters announced on Sunday the start of their own campaign to recapture Islamic State’s Syrian bastion of Raqqa.