A statement by the Syrian armed forces says the northern city of Aleppo has returned to government control, ending a four-year rebel hold over parts of the city. The statement broadcast on Syrian TV said the army has re-established “security” in the northern city after the last rebels evacuated from their final toe-hold in the eastern parts of the city.

The Syrian government’s recapture of Aleppo is a major turning point in the Syrian civil war with potentially powerful political repercussions. It represents a momentous victory for President Bashar Assad and a crushing defeat for Syria’s opposition which will struggle to forge a way forward. READ MORE