Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan discussed the situation in Syria’s Aleppo with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin by phone for the third time in a week on Wednesday and agreed on the need for a ceasefire, sources in Erdogan’s office said. The two leaders agreed on intensifying efforts towards a cessation of hostilities and on the need for the provision of aid to the city, sources said.
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Russia is a main backer of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, while Turkey supports the rebels fighting to oust him, but the two have been trying to find common ground on Syria since a rapprochement in August. Syrian rebels on Wednesday vowed to fight on in east Aleppo in the face of sudden government advances that have cut the city’s opposition sector by a third and brought the insurgents to the brink of a catastrophic defeat.