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Russia said its ally Syria would soon ship more chemical weapons abroad for destruction after being accused of dragging its feet, while activists said civilians in Aleppo were fleeing deadly barrel bomb raids by President Bashar Assad's air force.Moscow also said on Tuesday that the Syrian government would show up at a new round of peace talks next week, in a bid to allay Western concerns over Assad's commitment to negotiations which ended inconclusively in Geneva last week.The diplomatic assurances come as government forces escalate their assault on Syria's second city of Aleppo, using a near daily barrage of barrel bombs that some activists say is forcing residents to flee and slowly gaining ground for the president against rebel forces weakened by weeks of infighting.On the ground in Syria, Assad's forces are pushing for gains in the north, where rebels hold large swathes of territory, and central Syria, which links to the capital Damascus and the president's stronghold on the coast.Like many parts of Syria, Aleppo is divided between rebel and Assad forces in a stalemate that has lasted over a year, killing hundreds with little change in the balance of power.Assad's forces have been using siege tactics, sometimes for months on end, to drain rebel held areas of food and supplies.
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