Syr­ian gov­ern­ment forces press at­tack on Aleppo

Jamaica Gleaner - - INTERNATIONAL NEWS -

BEIRUT (AP): SYR­IAN GOV­ERN­MENT forces pressed their as­sault on the eastern, rebel-held neigh­bour­hoods of Aleppo on Tues­day, op­po­si­tion ac­tivists said, while state me­dia re­ported that rebel shelling of the gov­ern­ment-con­trolled part of the city left six dead at a univer­sity cam­pus.

Ac­tivists mean­while said the death toll from a sui­cide bomb­ing at a Kur­dish wed­ding in the north­east­ern city of Hasakah the pre­vi­ous night had risen to at least 34. The at­tack was claimed by the Is­lamic State group, which said its fighter had tar­geted a gath­er­ing of a Kur­dish po­lit­i­cal party, with­out men­tion­ing a wed­ding celebration.

Is­sam Amin, a lo­cal me­dia ac­tivist, said a teenager det­o­nated an ex­plo­sive vest when he was stopped by men at the en­trance of the wed­ding’s re­cep­tion. The Bri­tain-based Syr­ian Ob­ser­va­tory for Hu­man Rights, which tracks the civil war through a net­work of ac­tivists on the ground, said 11 of the fa­tal­i­ties were chil­dren.

The at­tacks un­der­score the chaos of the Syr­ian con­flict. The civil war has lately fo­cused around Aleppo, where hun­dreds have been killed since the col­lapse of a US and Rus­sian-bro­kered cease­fire two weeks ago. There are sev­eral other fronts open be­tween rebels and the gov­ern­ment across the coun­try, while Is­lamic State mil­i­tants con­tinue to stage large-scale at­tacks against all sides of the con­flict.

THE REBEL-HELD EAST

Tues­day’s shelling on Aleppo Univer­sity’s School of Sciences killed six civil­ians, some of them stu­dents, ac­cord­ing to the Ob­ser­va­tory and state me­dia. State me­dia said 47 were wounded.

Rebels said pro-gov­ern­ment forces were at­tack­ing the city from the south in a bid to pen­e­trate its op­po­si­tion-con­trolled ar­eas, where the UN es­ti­mates 275,000 peo­ple are trapped in a gov­ern­ment siege. The Is­lamic Front rebel coali­tion said on Twit­ter that its fac­tions re­pelled an ad­vance on the Sheikh Saeed neigh­bour­hood.

The Ob­ser­va­tory said the gov­ern­ment of­fen­sive is ac­com­pa­nied by air strikes on the con­tested neigh­bour­hoods. The mon­i­tor­ing group says 420 civil­ians have been killed in and around Aleppo since the col­lapse of the cease­fire, mainly in the re­bel­held east of the em­bat­tled city.

Health fa­cil­i­ties and hos­pi­tals have come un­der re­peated at­tack in the of­fen­sive, prompt­ing global out­cry.

In Geneva, the UN hu­man rights chief de­cried an un­fold­ing “calamity” in Aleppo and con­demned the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil for scut­tling res­o­lu­tions that would pro­hibit war crimes.

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