The battle for the long-divided city of Aleppo appears to be in its final stages, as Syrian government forces and their allies continue to rapidly retake ground formerly held by rebels, Reuters reported Dec. 12. Rebels, who once controlled the eastern half of the city, are now falling back into an ever-shrinking enclave as government troops push forward. Tens of thousands of civilians have fled to government-controlled areas, yet tens of thousands more are believed to be trapped and in danger in what remains of rebel territory. Though Aleppo will fall, the war is far from over. Government forces still face challenges around the country, including in Palmyra, which the Islamic State retook in the past few days. The group previously held the historically significant city for nearly a year.