TEHRAN (Press Shia) – More than 400 Syrian civilians have fled militant-held districts of eastern Aleppo for the government-controlled west as government forces advance in the city, activists said Sunday.

The civilians fled overnight to the Masaken Hanano district and were taken to government-controlled areas, the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, AFP reported.

Syrian state media said government forces on Saturday captured Massaken Hanano, the largest militant-held district of Aleppo, in what would be a major breakthrough in the government's offensive to retake the entire city.

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.