PHOTO: A boy carries a slain child in eastern Aleppo city on Saturday (Abdo Khuder)


UPDATE 2015 GMT: Fatameh al-Abed, a mother in eastern Aleppo city, is continuing to put out messages despite the gathering danger of the pro-Assad attacks.

Al-Abed, who tweets in the name of her seven-year-old daughter Bana, has vividly described life under siege and bombing. In the last few hours, she has updated:

UPDATE 1545 GMT: Rebels are withdrawing from frontlines in parts of eastern Aleppo city, following a breakthrough by pro-Assad forces in the northeast of the area.

Reports indicate that rebels withdrew from Jabal Badro, Ba’ebdin, and parts of Sakhour after the loss of Hanano to foreign forces and Syrian paramilitary and militia units on Saturday.

Hundreds of civilians have reportedly fled areas of fighting and have been transferred into regime-held western Aleppo city.

“We left Hanano because of the bombardment from the Syrian army during their advance, and the chlorine gas,” one resident told Reuters as he waited with his wife, mother, and three children at a minibus stop.

Kurdish outlets said about 30 families have also moved into the mainly-Kurdish area of Sheikh Maqsoud.

ORIGINAL ENTRY: Pro-Assad forces have taken a key area in eastern Aleppo, threatening to end resistance in the besieged opposition-held portion of Syria’s largest city.

The Syrian army said on Saturday that it had taken control of Hanano after days of fighting, beginning with the housing district in the northeast of the opposition area.

Supporting by a siege since late August and intensive Russian-regime bombing that has killed more than 1,000 people, foreign forces — among them Iranian units, Hezbollah, and Iraqi, Afghan, and Palestinian militia — and Syrian paramilitary forces have been closing on districts held by the opposition. Hanano was among the first neighborhoods where rebels defeated the Syrian military in July 2012.

Saturday’s advance raises the possibility of splitting the opposition area in two.

An official from the rebel faction Jabhat Shamiya said, “The revolutionaries are fighting fiercely but the volume of bombardments and the intensity of the battles, the dead and the wounded, and the lack of hospitals, are all playing a role in the collapse of these frontlines.

He condemned the “international silence” over the pro-Assad bombing, attacks, and siege:

The Iranians, Russians and regime know there is a vacuum and they are trying to exploit it using all means. We are in touch with the friendly states but unfortunately Aleppo is being left to be slaughtered.

An emergency nurse in the medical facilities under attack, added, “Every day there are a lot of attacks, helicopters dropping barrelbombs and war planes dropping bunker-buster bombs and cluster munitions.”

The Local Coordination Committees documented 51 deaths in Aleppo on Saturday, amid airstrikes on the Hanano, Qaterji, Bab Nayrab, Marja, Maysir, Sakhour, and Yaqed Adas districts.

Suspected ISIS Suicide Bombing in Town Near Turkish Border

A suspected Islamic State suicide bomb has killed several people and wounded at least 12 in the town of al-Rai, near the Turkish border, according to local sources.

Turkish-supported rebels took the town, 2 km (1.25 miles) south of Turkey’s Kilis Province, from ISIS in September.

1st Israeli Airstrike on ISIS Inside Syria

Israel has carried out its first airstrike on the Islamic State inside Syria, killing four fighters of an ISIS-affiliated group on Sunday morning.

Israeli officials said the attack followed a clash in southwest Syria near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, after soldiers from the Golani Brigade’s reconnaissance unit conducted an “ambush operation” while remaining inside Israeli territory.

The fighters of Liwa Shuhada al-Yarmouk responded with small arms and mortar fire, leading the Israel Air Force to target a truck with a “sort of machine gun on top of it”, killing the four men in it.

The army said no Israeli soldiers were injured in the exchange.

Qatar: We Will Arm Rebels Despite Trump — Even if Aleppo Falls

Qatar has said that it will continue to arm Syrian rebels even if Donald Trump ends US backing for the opposition.

The Foreign Minister assured:

This support is going to continue, we are not going to stop it. It doesn’t mean that if Aleppo falls, we will give up on the demands of the Syrian people….

Even if the regime captures it, I am sure they will have the ability to capture it back from the regime….We need more military support, yes, but even more important we need to stop the bombardment and create safe zones for the civilians.

However, Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said Doha wealthy Gulf state would not “go solo” and supply shoulder-fired missiles to the rebels to defend themselves against Russian and regime warplanes

In a signal to other rebel backers such as Saudi Arabia and Turkey, Thani said the supply of MANPADS would have to be collective.

The Foreign Minister said Assad was “the fuel of Daesh [the Islamic State]” because pro-Assad forces’ killing of Syrians helped ISIS win recruits: “We never see any effort for him fighting Daesh.”

Speaking about Trump, he said:

We want to have the U.S. with us, for sure, they have been our historic ally….But if they want to change their minds, are we going to change our position? For us, in Qatar at least, we are not going to change our position. Our position is based on principles, values and on our assessment of the situation there…”If we are not going to address the cause of all this … without addressing the issue of al-Assad, we will have another extremist group, it will be more extreme and more brutal.

Qatar’s position is in contrast to Egypt, where President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has renewed relations with Assad and supplied weapons to the Syrian military: “For us unfortunately Egypt is supporting the regime….We hope that they come back and be with us.”

Ankara Pulls Back Claim of ISIS “Chemical Attack” on Turkish-Supported Rebels

Turkey has stepped back from a claim that the Islamic State has used chemical weapons on Turkish-backed rebels for the first time in northern Syria.

Military sources initially said on Sunday that ISIS used chlorine gas, affecting 22 fighters.

Howedver, Turkish State media said a subsequent analysis by Turkey’s disaster and emergency organization AFAD did not detect chemical materials. Instead, the troops’ symptoms were attributed to a tear gas-like substance.

The Turkish-rebel offensive, which began on August 24, has cleared the Islamic State from the Turkish-Syrian border and has moved south towards ISIS’s key position in Aleppo Province, the town of al-Bab.