Syrian men caught in Assad regime's net as Aleppo's rebel zones fall

Syrian men caught in Assad regime's net as Aleppo's rebel zones fall

Aid groups estimate that almost 250,000 civilians were trapped in the eastern part of Aleppo held by some 1,000 Islamist rebels from different factions.

United Nations humanitarian chief Stephen O'Brien made yet another plea for the council to adopt a resolution put forward by Egypt, New Zealand and Spain for a 10-day pause in the fighting and bombing to allow desperately needed aid into the war zone.

"For the sake of humanity we call on - we plead - with the parties and those with influence to do everything in their power to protect civilians and enable access to the besieged part of eastern Aleppo before it becomes one giant graveyard", he said.

More than 50,000 people have fled Aleppo's rebel-held districts, the Observatory said on Wednesday, including at least 20,000 to government-held territory and another 30,000 to Kurdish-controlled districts.

"I would urge all those with responsibility for that, both the Assad regime and their supporters in think of what they can do to bring peace, stop the bombardment, stop the killing of innocent civilians and get to the negotiating table", he told AFP after meeting his Cypriot counterpart in Nicosia.

On Tuesday the Red Cross said that 16,000 people had fled fighting in the divided city during a 48-hour period as government forces, backed by Russian Federation, bombarded areas.

"In the name of humanity", Hassan pleaded to reporters after a meeting with French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, calling on the worldwide community to help the plight of innocent civilians caught up in the fighting in eastern Aleppo.

A spokesman for a Syrian opposition group says allowing in humanitarian aid is the priority of worldwide and regional efforts in the besieged part of Aleppo.

Syrian troops backed by militia gunmen loyal to President Bashar al-Assad entered eastern Aleppo on Saturday and have seized the entire northeast.

With territory they have defended for four years now being wrenched from their control, anti-government rebels in the Syrian city of Aleppo are desperately trying to hold out.

Moscow launched a military campaign in support of Assad in September of a year ago and has since carried out of air strikes in Syria.

Civilians have poured out of the besieged rebel-held east, battered by air strikes and heavy artillery fire by advancing regime forces.

The operation has killed almost 300 civilians in east Aleppo, including more than 30 children, the Observatory has said.

"We are in agreement that a cease-fire is needed so that the tragedy can come to an end", said Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlet Cavusoglu, speaking alongside his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in a Turkish resort town.

Russia, meanwhile, has claimed that the regime air strikes and ground assault on east Aleppo have managed to "liberate" the area.

"All questions about the present status of resolving Syria or other conflicts are continuing with our partners from the current administration of the president of the United States", Dmitry Peskov said.

Civil Defense workers walk past damaged buildings after airstrikes hit in Abian Saman town, in rural western Aleppo. But Putin said Wednesday in a speech that he had spoken with Trump and that the they agreed their countries' "unsatisfactory" relationship had to be "straightened out".

Moscow has been a staunch defender of the Syrian government and says its military involvement in the country is created to stamp out IS and other extremists.

Turkish and Russian officials on Thursday held talks on the deteriorating conditions in eastern Aleppo but gave no indication they were close to a cease-fire as Syrian government forces pushed on with their assault on the beleaguered, rebel-held enclave.