Syrian regime forces are claiming to have taken over a strategic district in Aleppo marking the most critical advance in the divided city for Damascus and its allies, but opposition rebels say the battle is far from over.
Located on the southwestern outskirts of Aleppo, the 1070 Apartments district lies alongside the regime's corridor into the parts of the city that it controls.
— Julian Rpcke (@JulianRoepcke) November 8, 2016
A military media unit run by regime-allied Hezbollah, a Lebanese Shia group, also carried a similar report.
The regime and its allies have made repeated efforts to oust rebels from the 1070 Apartments area since the summer.
But officials from two opposition groups fighting in Aleppo said their forces were still fighting back.
"The clashes around 1070 Apartments are still going on," Zakaria Malahifji, head of the political office of the Fastaqim opposition group said.
#Aleppo : Activists say 1070 Apartments looks more like 17 flats after 200 airstrikes with the Opposition controlling the majority of it.
— Christian Turner (@CombatChris1) November 8, 2016
Yasser Alyousef from the political office of the Nour al-Din al-Zinki rebel group said rebels had recovered positions they had lost on Monday.
In September, regime forces backed by allied militias and Russian air power launched a major campaign to capture rebel-held eastern Aleppo, which according to the United Nations is home to 275,000 people.
Rebels launched a counter-attack on October 29, targeting regime-held western districts of Aleppo in an offensive that included Free Syrian Army and various rebel groups fighting under its banner.
Syrian regime media said the army had moved into Minian, which was captured by rebels at the start of their campaign.
The fall of Minian to the regime would reverse some of the gains rebels have made during their offensive.
But Malahifji, of the Fastaqim rebel group, shot down the claims that there had been any clashes inside the village, saying, "Minian is still with the rebels, the regime is trying to take it, but it's still with the rebels."
Russia said its air force has been observing a cessation of air strikes in rebel-held eastern Aleppo since October 18.
A senior US official said they had repeatedly sought to de-escalate the violence, only to see Moscow flex its military muscle in support of regime leader, Bashar al-Assad.
"An escalation would make it harder to resolve the brutal civil war in Syria and raise more doubts about Russia's commitment to a political solution," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.