Syrian regime forces redeployed Sunday to try to avoid being surrounded in neighborhoods they control in Aleppo, after a rebel alliance said it had broken a three-week government siege.
A coalition of rebels and jihadists surged through regime territory on Saturday to open a new route into the northern city's besieged eastern neighborhoods, home to an estimated 250,000 people.
The operation triggered celebrations in eastern districts and sparked fears in regime-controlled western areas of the divided city of food and fuel shortages.
Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said the rebel action was one of the most significant setbacks for government forces since the conflict erupted in March 2011.
"Despite more than 600 Russian strikes, the regime forces were not able to hold on to their positions," he said.