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Senator says Aleppo may be fully liberated by end of 2016

The Syrian army is currently in full control of 45 quarters of Aleppo previously held by militants

MOSCOW, December 7. /TASS/. Syria’s Aleppo could be fully liberated before the end of the year, First Deputy Chairman of Russia’s Federation Council (upper house of parliament) Defense and Security Committee, Franz Klintsevich, told reporters on Wednesday.

"I believe Aleppo will be fully liberated in the immediate future, may be, even before the end of the year," the senator said commenting on reports saying that Syrian government troops have liberated another 10 neighborhoods in the eastern part of the city within the previous 24 hours. Klintsevich added that "this will happen regardless of whether an agreement is reached between Russia and the US on letting militants leave the eastern part of the city."

He also suggested that the US will become "more flexible" with the advance of the Syrian army. "After all, they will be sure to want to be involved in this imminent victory or, at least, create such an impression," the senator noted.

The Russian Center for the reconciliation of the warring parties in Syria reported earlier in the day that Syrian government troops had recaptured another ten neighborhoods of Aleppo from militants over the past 24 hours, adding that at the moment the Syrian army was in full control of 45 quarters of Aleppo previously held by militants.

Syria’s Alikhbaria TV channel reported earlier on Wednesday that Syrian troops had established control of 13 neighborhoods in the historical part of Aleppo, including Kastel Kharami, Kastel Mashtal, Al-Hamidiya and Dananir Square. According to the television channel, pockets of armed resistance still remain in Al Firdous and Bustan al-Qasr. Most militants have fled to the south of the city - the Al-Salihin and Al-Suqqari neighborhoods.

A source in Aleppo told the Iranian news agency Tasnim that about 80% of eastern Aleppo has been re-gained by government troops. A large part of the northern and northwestern areas, too, are under the full control of government forces.