By Laila Bassam and John Davison | ALEPPO, SYRIA/BEIRUT
The Syrian army's advance in Aleppo slowed on Thursday but a victory was still firmly in sight after President Bashar al-Assad vowed that retaking the city would change the course of the six-year-old war.
Russia's RIA news agency quoted Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying the Syrian army, which has captured territory including Aleppo's historic Old City in recent days, had halted military activity to let civilians leave rebel-held territory.
However, Reuters reporters in a government-held part of the city said bombardment could still be heard after his remarks were published. Washington said it had no confirmation that the army had ceased fire. Read the whole story here: