Syrian Rebels Vow to Stay in Aleppo

Syrian rebels have vowed to stay in the besieged city of Aleppo, despite Russia’s call for rebel forces to leave. Zakaria Malahifji, a senior rebel official, told Reuters: “we cannot leave our city, our homes, to the mercenary militias that the regime has mobilized in Aleppo,” adding that U.S. officials asked whether they were interested in leaving or staying. The Syrian government, backed by Russia and Shi’ite militia groups from Iraq, Lebanon and Afghanistan, has taken back much of Aleppo after launching a major offensive there.