Aleppo rebels call for five-day ceasefire to allow evacuation

Rebel fighters have called for a five-day ceasefire for medical and civilian evacuations from eastern Aleppo. They said around 500 seriously wounded civilians needed to leave immediately and should be given passage to a safe area of countryside to the north of the city. Overnight, rebels retreated from the last parts of the Old City after the army seized the districts of Bab al Hadid and Aqyul, a spokesperson for the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said.

Russia says Assad is ready to come to the table … and I am in favour of putting that to the test.

John Kerry, US Secretary of State

Regime forces appear closer than ever to retaking all of the city and winning their most important victory since the civil war began in 2011. According to human rights monitors SOHR, at least 80,000 people have already fled Aleppo’s eastern enclaves since the Syrian army mounted a new offensive in mid-November.