DAMASCUS (Press Shia Agency) – Syrian military forces closed in on terrorist groups in the strategic city of Aleppo, liberating more neighborhoods in northeastern parts of the city.

With the street fighting against terrorist groups in northeast of Aleppo gaining momentum, the Syrian Army forces, backed by voluntary fighters, recaptured al-Oweija Hill and an electricity control center in the area on Monday.

Elsewhere closer to the city center, the Syrian military forces are making advances in Bustan al-Pasha and Salahuddin neighborhoods.

The army’s advances follow a siege of terrorist-held areas east of Aleppo, where a quarter of a million people are estimated to be living.

Meanwhile, the army has provided safe passages for civilians to flee the terrorist-held neighborhoods, declaring that any individual who reaches the Syrian army positions will be safe and not arrested.

Aleppo, once Syria’s commercial and industrial hub, has been divided roughly in two since 2012, with the government controlling the west and terrorists the east.

Syria has been gripped by civil war since March 2011 with various terrorist groups, including Daesh (also known as ISIS or ISIL), currently controlling parts of it.

According to a report by the Syrian Center for Policy Research, the conflict has claimed the lives of over 470,000 people, injured 1.9 million others, and displaced nearly half of the country’s pre-war population of about 23 million within or beyond its borders.