Russia warns against US attack on Syrian forces

"If the USA launches a direct aggression against Damascus and the Syrian Army it would cause a bad, tectonic shift not only in the country, but in the entire region", warned Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.

She said the Russian-backed regime of Bashar al-Assad and the anti-government rebels - the more moderate of whom are being armed and helped by the United States - both believed they could win militarily.

U.S. -Russia tensions over Syria have escalated since the breakdown of a cease-fire last month, with each side blaming the other for its failure.

On Sunday, the Syrian military called on rebels to leave the besieged eastern areas of Aleppo, saying that the Syrian and Russian forces "guarantee their safety", according to a statement from the Syrian army.

The battle for Aleppo has sparked some of the most brutal violence since the March 2011 beginning of Syria's conflict, which has killed more than 300,000 people and displaced over half the population. The hill is on the northern edge of Aleppo, which was once Syria's largest city and commercial center.

"Regime forces aims to control Bustan al-Basha and Sakhur districts to tighten the zones controlled by rebels", said Abdel Rahman.

The Syrian army said on Sunday that rebel fighters should vacate east Aleppo and it would guarantee them safe passage and necessary aid. He posted photographs on his Twitter account showing the damage including beds covered with dust, a hole in its roof and debris covering the street outside.

Russian Federation was reported on Friday to be sending more warplanes to Syria to ramp up its air campaign as the US said it had not yet given up on finding a diplomatic resolution. Sahloul said a small group of patients and doctors "were inside the hospital for basic triage, bandaging, and cleaning services for emergency cases" when the bombardment began.

The U.N.'s humanitarian chief, Stephen O'Brien, reported that eastern Aleppo's health system has been "all but obliterated" by shelling and bombardment.

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Russia's new move, reported by Reuters, is one more nail in the coffin of an increasingly desperate situation with regard to the US preference for a negotiated settlement - a settlement that Russian Federation is, in turn, increasingly rejecting.

"With clean water and food in very short supply, the number of people requiring urgent medical evacuations is likely to rise dramatically in the coming days", he said.

The army of President Bashar al-Assad announced a major push on September 22 to capture Aleppo's opposition-held east and has gained ground in the city with the help of ally Moscow.

The Doctors Without Borders medical charity warned Friday that "bombs are raining" over the city, turning east Aleppo into "a giant kill box".

Russia's increasing military action in Syria is forcing moderate elements within the Syrian opposition into the hands of extremists, a USA state department spokesman has said.

World Health Organization humanitarian spokesman Rick Brennan, speaking Friday, described the situation in Aleppo as "really unfathomable".

The US and Russian Federation have been trying to negotiate a ceasefire in the war-torn nation, but Secretary of State John Kerry said "the bombing of Aleppo right now is inexcusable", NBC news reported. By recapturing Handarat, Syrian troops pushed terrorists further away from Castello Road, a main artery leading to the militant-held parts of the city.

According to a report by the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), citing an unnamed military source, army troops on Sunday also managed to destroy a number of motorcycles and a vehicle belonging to terrorists near Mahatta neighborhood in the provincial capital, Dara'a.

  • Sonia Alvarado