Residents inspect damage after airstrikes by pro-Syrian government forces in the rebel held Al-Shaar neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria February 4, 2016. REUTERS/Abdalrhman Ismail
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Tens of thousands flee as regime advances on AleppoTens of thousands of Syrians were reported to have fled their homes Thursday as regime troops pressed a major Russian-backed offensive around second-city Aleppo. Both Davutoglu and activists said 300,000 people were isolated in Aleppo after the rebels' main supply route from Turkey was severed by regime forces backed by Russian warplanes.Aleppo city, the former economic powerhouse of Syria, has been divided between opposition control in the east and regime control in the west since mid-2012 .A security source told The Daily Star Thursday that a senior official from the elite Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps was killed along with 12 other fighters in the pro-government offensive toward Aleppo city. Col. Mohsen Qajaryan was killed during battles against rebel forces in northern Aleppo as Syria's army and its allied forces, backed by Russian airstrikes, managed to regain control Wednesday over two Shiite villages in Aleppo province that had been besieged by rebels for three years. At least 98 rebel fighters were also killed in the battles, as Russian warplanes backed the ground offensive.
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