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Short-lived ceasefire in Aleppo collapses


12-15-2016 05:45 BJT

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MOSCOW, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) -- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said Wednesday that government forces would continue with offensive against terrorists across the country after the city of Aleppo was liberated from militants.

In an interview with Russian 24 TV channel broadcast earlier in the day, al-Assad vowed to retake central Syria's historic city of Palmyra as the Syria army has made major breakthrough in its recent campaign to clear Aleppo of militants.

Earlier on Wednesday, according to the Russian center for Syrian reconciliation, Syrian army liberated one of the last blocks in the contested city remaining under control of terrorists, further reducing the area controlled by militants to just 2.5 square kilometers.

Al-Assad said he considered U.S. President-elect Donald Trump a "natural ally" to Damascus if the latter would keep his campaign promise of combating terrorism and not interfering in the internal affairs of other countries.

Talking about plans to rebuild the war-ravaged country after years of conflicts, al-Assad said he expected refugees who have left Syria to return home, and that he would give the priority of involvement in post-war restoration to Russia, China, Iran and others.

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