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Battlefield Aleppo

Battlefield Aleppo

by Reuters

Aftermath of an air attack on Aleppo.

This was once Syria's commercial hub -- now video which can not be independently verified by Reuters shows smoke filled streets and heavily damaged buildings.

State media said Wednesday that Syrian armed forces have taken strategic ground around Aleppo this week -- they are squeezing the main rebel supply line into the city after months of battlefield gains by Damascus.

The death toll is only expected to rise in a war that has already killed more than 160,000 people.

Rebels pushed into Aleppo, once Syria's commercial hub, in 2012 from the north and took districts in the heart of the city. Since then, the army has held the west and south of Aleppo but has been unable to dislodge opposition fighters.

Now state media says the army has taken control of an industrial complex in the northeast. Control of the complex means rebels are now hemmed in on three sides by government forces and can only resupply neighborhoods in the city through a northern corridor.