Turkey says 2 soldiers missing in Syria

Turkey says 2 soldiers missing in Syria

The United Nations says almost 16,000 civilians have escaped from eastern Aleppo after government forces drove insurgents from 40 percent of the territory they had held.

In swift and dramatic advances, Syrian government and allied troops pushed their way into northern parts of opposition held eastern Aleppo, touching off a wave of panic and flight from the besieged enclave.

Terrified civilians have fled empty-handed into remaining rebel-held territory, or crossed into government-controlled western Aleppo or Kurdish-held districts.

More than 300,000 people have been killed and millions forced to flee their homes since Syria's conflict erupted in March 2011 with protests calling for Assad's ouster.

Rebel forces are now withdrawing to their last lines, hunkering down to the few positions they say are defendable.

Shamdasani also cited reports that opposition groups have been preventing civilians from leaving areas under their control.

Numerous remaining civilians have now left, with around 16,000 fleeing, the old carrying whatever they were strong enough to bare and children carrying their younger siblings.

Up to 16,000 civilians have fled strife-torn parts of eastern Aleppo as the rebels lost all of the northern neighbourhoods of their stronghold, the United Nations said Tuesday, describing the situation as "chilling".

The attack on eastern Aleppo threatens to snuff out the most important urban center of the revolt against President Bashar al-Assad, who has been firmly on the offensive for more than a year thanks to Russian and Iranian military support.

Too much has been lost and destroyed in Aleppo for its people to think about ending the war, it will simply harden their determination to continue.

As government forces pressed on with their assault on the divided city, regime artillery fire killed at least 26 civilians in east Aleppo on Wednesday.

The UN Security Council is set to hold another emergency session on the crisis in Aleppo, Syria, on November 30 as a UN official called the situation there a "descent into hell".

Government forces stepped up their offensive two weeks ago and broke through the rebel lines on Saturday.

Syrian and worldwide aid agencies operating in those areas meanwhile tried to mobilise resources to help civilians crossing the frontlines in search of safety.

In a statement, the assembly said the PKK-affiliated Syrian Democratic Union Party (PYD) had "totally destroyed" six of eastern Aleppo's predominantly Turkmen districts.

"More than ever before, we need to urgently put in place means to end the hostilities and to allow humanitarian aid to get through unhindered", French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said in a statement. Thousands of citizens are believed to be trapped in the terrorist-besieged eastern parts of Aleppo with no access to food or water.

He said the Russian Defense Ministry has also sent a field hospital to Aleppo.

Abdulkafi Alhamdo, a teacher living in the Zabadieh neighborhood in eastern Aleppo, said refugees were filling up his building, most of its flats abandoned because of the war.

More than 20 civilians were killed in a singe barrage of artillery fire on Wednesday and hundreds of men in east Aleppo are feared to have been gathered up in mass arrests by advancing regime forces.

The U.N. envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, said he could not say how long eastern Aleppo would hold out.

"Clearly, I cannot deny - this is a military acceleration and I can't tell you how long eastern Aleppo will last", he told the European Parliament. Well, they have now agreed that plan so I now call on Russian Federation to make sure that the Syrian regime can agree that plan.