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Syrian government forces have taken full control of Aleppo

The Syrian regime says it has taken full control of Aleppo, state-run media announced Thursday, marking a major turning point in the nation's five-year civil war.
Syrian government forces have taken full control of Aleppo

Government forces and their allies are now in control of eastern Aleppo, ending more than four years of rebel rule, CNN reports.

Syrian forces and militia supporting President Bashar al-Assad entered eastern Aleppo by ground in late November. The regime and Russia, its most powerful ally, have decimated neighborhoods with airstrikes.

Neither hospitals nor civilians are immune. In many cases, children have fallen victim to such bombings.

An estimated 400,000 Syrians have been killed and more than 4.8 million have fled the country since the war began in 2011, according to the United Nations.

The government already controls western Aleppo. Now, regime control of the east spells the end of the rebels’ last urban stronghold, puts the government back in control of the country’s four major cities and make an opposition government less likely.

It’s also a major setback for activists who have long sought an end to four decades of Assad family rule.