Syrian forces on Thursday recaptured a strategic district from rebels in Aleppo, boosting their advance against the opposition in the divided city, activists said.
The government forces, backed by allies from the Lebanese Hezbollah movement, regained the district of Ramousseh on the southern outskirts of Aleppo, more than a month after the rebels had captured it, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring group, reported.
The advance tightens the regime's siege on rebel-held districts in eastern Aleppo.
"This is a severe blow for the rebels. They have lost all the land they took from the regime on the southern edges of Aleppo a month ago," the observatory's head, Rami Abdel-Rahman, said.
"There are real fears on the fate of some 300,000 people living in eastern Aleppo," he told dpa.
A source close to Hezbollah said that the pro-Iranian Shiite movement had sent more than 1,000 fighters to support the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in its fight against rebels in southern Aleppo.
Local activist Omar al-Arab meanwhile said the situation inside the opposition-controlled eastern section of Aleppo was worsening due to intense regime shelling of the area.
"Streets are empty and people are afraid," he said.
Al-Arab told dpa via Facebook that the city was suffering from a shortage of food supplies.
Efforts by the UN to reach an agreement on regular 48-hour ceasefires to allow aid deliveries to Aleppo so far have been unsuccessful, despite government ally Russia agreeing to the plan.