Mikhail Bugdanov, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, affirmed that Moscow hopes to resolve the situation in Aleppo by the end of the year. According to Russian Defense Minister, this week brought a breakthrough for the Russian-backed Syrian drive to retake eastern Aleppo, allowing humanitarian relief to be brought in to tens of thousands of civilians living in the recaptured districts. On Monday, the Russian-run Syria Reconciliation Center reported that more than 500 fighters in Aleppo chose to surrender to the advancing Syrian Army. Russian Reconciliation Center also noted that 3,179 people, including 1,519 children have left eastern Aleppo through the ‘humanitarian corridors’ set up by Syrian government forces. This week, Damascus stepped up its siege on eastern Aleppo, a city that for years has been split between government troops and militant forces. The Syrian Army is targeting Al-Nusra Front and other radical militants. The operation put a strain on the ability of armed groups to prevent civilians from fleeing areas under their control. Previously, some of the terrorist groups controlling eastern Aleppo, like Al-Qaeda off-shoot Al-Nusra Front, used deadly force to stop civilians trying to escape.