Erdogan, Putin Agree on Need for Aleppo Cease-fire, Aid Relief

Meanwhile, Syrian rebels vow to continue fighting in east Aleppo in the face of sudden government advances.

Syrian pro-government forces drive past residents fleeing the eastern part of Aleppo, Syria, November 30, 2016.
Syrian pro-government forces drive past residents fleeing the eastern part of Aleppo, Syria, November 30, 2016. George Ourfalian, AFP

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan discussed the situation in Syria's Aleppo with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin by phone for the third time in a week on Wednesday and agreed on the need for a cease-fire, sources in Erdogan's office said.

The sources said the two leaders agreed on intensifying efforts towards a cessation of hostilities and on the need for the provision of aid to the city, the sources said.

Russia is a main backer of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, while Turkey supports the rebels fighting to oust him, but the two have been trying to find common ground on Syria since a rapprochement in August.

President Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday that Turkey's military operation in support of rebels in northern Syria did not target any one country or individual, but was aimed at terrorist organisations. 

His comment, in a speech at the presidential palace, came after he said earlier this week that Turkey was in Syria to "end the rule of the cruel (President Bashar al-) Assad". 

Syrian rebels on Wednesday vowed to fight on in east Aleppo in the face of sudden government advances that have cut the city's opposition sector by a third and brought the insurgents to the brink of a catastrophic defeat.