Europe

Syrian army tells rebels in eastern Aleppo: leave or die

  • Syrian children who were displaced with their family from eastern Aleppo play in the village of Jibreen south of Aleppo, Syria, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016. Aid agencies say that more than 30,000 people have fled rebel-held eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo that have been under tight siege since July. Over the past two weeks, government forces launched an offensive in which they regained control of nearly half areas that had been held by insurgents in their deepest push since the city became contested in July 2012.(AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

    Syrian children who were displaced with their family from eastern Aleppo play in the village of Jibreen south of Aleppo, Syria, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016. Aid agencies say that more than 30,000 people have fled rebel-held eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo that have been under tight siege since July. Over the past two weeks, government forces launched an offensive in which they regained control of nearly half areas that had been held by insurgents in their deepest push since the city became contested in July 2012.(AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)  (The Associated Press)

  • A Syrian woman displaced with her family from eastern Aleppo walks with her children as she carries a mattress in the village of Jibreen south of Aleppo, Syria, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016. Aid agencies say that more than 30,000 people have fled rebel-held eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo that have been under tight siege since July. Over the past two weeks, government forces launched an offensive in which they regained control of nearly half areas that had been held by insurgents in their deepest push since the city became contested in July 2012.(AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

    A Syrian woman displaced with her family from eastern Aleppo walks with her children as she carries a mattress in the village of Jibreen south of Aleppo, Syria, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016. Aid agencies say that more than 30,000 people have fled rebel-held eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo that have been under tight siege since July. Over the past two weeks, government forces launched an offensive in which they regained control of nearly half areas that had been held by insurgents in their deepest push since the city became contested in July 2012.(AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)  (The Associated Press)

  • Syrian children that displaced with their families from eastern Aleppo pose for a picture in the village of Jibreen south of Aleppo, Syria, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016. Aid agencies say that more than 30,000 people have fled rebel-held eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo that have been under tight siege since July. Over the past two weeks, government forces launched an offensive in which they regained control of nearly half areas that had been held by insurgents in their deepest push since the city became contested in July 2012.(AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

    Syrian children that displaced with their families from eastern Aleppo pose for a picture in the village of Jibreen south of Aleppo, Syria, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016. Aid agencies say that more than 30,000 people have fled rebel-held eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo that have been under tight siege since July. Over the past two weeks, government forces launched an offensive in which they regained control of nearly half areas that had been held by insurgents in their deepest push since the city became contested in July 2012.(AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)  (The Associated Press)

Syria's army says it is offering rebel fighters in besieged eastern Aleppo an opportunity to leave the city with their lives.

Army spokesman Brig. Gen. Samir Suleiman said those who choose to stay will face "inevitable death."

He spoke to The Associated Press in Aleppo, where government forces and allied militias are seeking to collapse an opposition pocket on the city's eastern side.

"We will continue fighting until we restore stability and security to all neighborhoods" of Aleppo, Suleiman said.

He said the Syrian army has retaken more than 50 percent of neighborhoods in eastern Aleppo.

He also said that efforts to retake Aleppo's historic quarters known as Old Aleppo will be the most difficult, adding that the army will use infantry and special forces.