Syrian Army Enters Aleppo’s Old City

Syrian regime forces pushed into rebel-held parts of Aleppo’s Old City on Tuesday, bringing the Assad government a step closer to its most significant victory in its five-year civil war. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group announced the development late Tuesday, and while a rebel official denied the regime forces had pushed through, he said the army was on the outskirts and battles were continuing. While regime forces gained ground, the Syrian foreign ministry said it would no longer accept a truce in Aleppo, a day after Russia and China vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution to establish a seven-day ceasefire. Syrian forces have regained about two-thirds of Aleppo from the rebels in recent weeks, taking back areas that rebel forces have held for years. Both Damascus and Moscow have urged rebel forces to abandon the city, while heavy bombardments continue and the UN warns that 200,000 civilians remain trapped without food or water. In comments to Reuters on Tuesday, Abu Youssef, a civilian in an area still controlled by rebels, described a horrific scene: “There has been heavy shelling on us, there are massacres [of civilians], there’s no electricity and little internet access.”