Syrian pro-government forces walk past damaged houses as they approach the Baeedin district in eastern Aleppo, near Masaken Hanano, which is still under rebel-control on Nov. 23, 2016. / AFP / GEORGE OURFALIAN
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A Syrian monitoring group alleged Tuesday that rebels are preventing dozens of families from fleeing eastern Aleppo as Russian-backed government forces intensify their bombardment of the besieged quarter.The Observatory says at least 140 civilians, including 18 children, have been killed.The area has been under siege by pro-government forces since August.The announcement, which named the new anti-terrorism force the Fifth Corps, didn't specify where the force would be deployed.Iran, Iraq and Lebanon's Hezbollah have sent in hundreds of fighters who have fought alongside government troops, sometimes leading combat units, in decisive battles against armed opposition groups and extremist militants.This comes a year after the Syrian armed forces announced the formation of the Fourth Corps, also an anti-terrorism force, soon after Russia began its military operations alongside the Syrian government.Another urged residents to cooperate with government forces.
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