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Syrian government forces and rebels fought battles in the center of Aleppo and north of the city on Friday, a week into a Russian-backed offensive by the Syrian army to take the entire area, a war monitor and sources on both sides said. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and a Syrian military source said government forces had captured territory north of Aleppo and buildings in the city center. Rebel sources however denied there had been any additional advances north of the city by government forces that seized the Handarat camp area north of Aleppo on Thursday.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A year after Russia waded into the war in Syria, aiming to flex its national security muscles and prop up beleaguered Syrian president Bashar Assad, Moscow appears no closer to one of its military goals, getting the U.S. to cooperate in the skies or on the ground in the civil war, and prospects for a diplomatic resolution seem dim.