TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said on Wednesday he hoped that the situation in Syria's Aleppo could be sorted out by the end of this year, the RIA news agency cited him as saying.
"We are hoping for this of course," Bogdanov was quoted as saying, when asked if the situation in Aleppo could be resolved by the end of 2016.
"We need to force these terrorists out in the same way as they need to be forced out in Mosul and in Raqqa. It's a general task."
Syria’s Aleppo has been the scene of fierce battles between Syria’s army and militants holding the city's eastern districts. Fighting has escalated in recent days since militants announced an offensive and fired missiles on government-held districts of western Aleppo.
Russia introduced an earlier humanitarian pause in October, to ensure the safe evacuation of civilians and unarmed militants from eastern Aleppo through designated corridors. That pause collapsed when Jabhat Fatah al Sham, formerly known as al-Nusra Front, militants prevented civilians from fleeing Aleppo and attacked them, prompting an offensive by government forces.
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.