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Assad Says Goal is ‘Final Victory’ in Aleppo as Blasts Shake Homs | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A boy carries two children as he evacuates them from a site hit by barrel bomb dropped by forces loyal to Assad in Aleppo. Reuters

Bashar Assad said on Thursday that Syria would not accept less than an outright victory against rebels in the northern city of Aleppo and across the country, state media reported.

In a telegram sent to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Assad said the army would not accept less than “attaining final victory” and “crushing the aggression” in its fight against rebels in Aleppo and elsewhere in the country.

In the telegram, Assad thanked Moscow for its military support.

The Syrian army said on Wednesday it would abide by a “regime of calm” in Aleppo following a U.S.-Russian agreement to extend as of Thursday a cessation of hostilities that had crumbled after nearly two weeks of deadly violence between rebels and government forces.

The deal followed an intense diplomatic push by Moscow and Washington to salvage peace efforts.

The truce took hold in Aleppo on Thursday as relieved residents returned to the streets.

Meanwhile, Syrian state TV said two explosions in a village in the central province of Homs have killed and wounded several people.

The channel said the first blast in the village of Mukharam al-Fawkani was a car bomb and the second was a suicide attacker wearing an explosive belt. The report gave no breakdown of the casualties from the blasts.

ISIS had claimed responsibility for similar attacks in Homs in recent months that killed scores of people.