DAMASCUS, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- Syrian government forces are now controling all of northeast Aleppo in northern Syria, as rebel defenses in the war-torn country's largest city have collapsed.
Experts believe that with the biggest loss in Aleppo since the war started in 2012, the rebels' last major urban stronghold is expected to be reclaimed by the government forces only as a matter of time.
Government forces and allied fighters have so far captured 20 out of 45 square km of rebel-held areas in eastern Aleppo, a source told Xinhua Monday on condition of anonymity.
He added that all of the northern section of eastern Aleppo, which used to be isolated from its south, has come under government control.
As a result of a broad offensive launched recently, Syrian government forces have recaptured the neighborhoods of Sakhour, Sheikh Khuder, Sheikh Fares, Bustan al-Basha, Baibdien, Slaiman al-Halabi, Halak, Inzarat, Ayn Tal Jabal Badro, and Masaken Hanano in eastern Aleppo.
Government forces have intensified shelling on rebel positions in eastern Aleppo over the past 10 days to break their defense lines and prepare for a ground incursion.
The firepower has destroyed rebel defenses, mainly the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front, the Turkey-backed Awphrar al-Sham, and the Nour Addien Alzinki Movement.
The capture of Masaken Hanano, the largest rebel-held neighborhood in eastern Aleppo, and the Sakhour neighborhood, has enabled the Syrian army to isolate neighborhoods in northeastern Aleppo from the central and southern ones.
Political analysts said with an effective strategy, the government forces will keep the offensive momentum and reclaim more lands from the rebels' hands until fully controling entire Aleppo.
The advances will bolster Syrian President Bashar Assad's position and control of his country. They also mark a devastating blow to the morales of rebels and terrorists in other parts of Syria.
Military sources said the rebels in eastern Aleppo are in a state of confusion as a result of government military advances.
The Syrian army says it will press on with the operation until all rebel-held areas in eastern Aleppo are recaptured.
Thousands of civilians have fled to government-controlled areas in western Aleppo, following the advance of the Syrian army.
Over 8,500 Syrian civilians, including some 4,000 children, left the areas controlled by the militants in the city of Aleppo, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Tuesday.
"During the night, the government troops continued offensive operations in the occupied areas of eastern Aleppo. In the past 24 hours, 14 districts in eastern Aleppo were completely liberated from the terrorists (about 300,000 residential buildings)," the Russian reconciliation center for Syria said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Syrian National TV has aired several interviews with civilians who have reached government-controlled areas in western Aleppo and blamed rebels for the dire humanitarian situation there.
The interviewees accused rebels of preventing them from leaving Aleppo earlier. They also spoke of the hunger they had suffered from over the past four months.