Syria rebels keep up of­fen­sive on west­ern Aleppo

Jamaica Gleaner - - INTERNATIONAL NEWS -

BEIRUT (AP): SYR­IAN IN­SUR­GENTS on Sun­day kept up their shelling of gov­ern­ment-con­trolled ar­eas of Aleppo, killing at least seven peo­ple, in­clud­ing three chil­dren, state TV re­ported, and push­ing their way with car bombs and tanks into new ter­ri­tory in the west­ern part of the city. The Syr­ian gov­ern­ment claimed the op­po­si­tion fight­ers used toxic gas.

The at­tacks raised the death toll in the three-day-old of­fen­sive to at least 41 civil­ians, in­clud­ing 16 chil­dren, ac­cord­ing to the Bri­tain-based Syr­ian Ob­ser­va­tory for Hu­man Rights, an op­po­si­tion mon­i­tor­ing group that has a net­work of ac­tivists in rebel and gov­ern­ment-con­trolled ar­eas in Syria. The Ob­ser­va­tory said hun­dreds of mor­tars were lobbed.

United Na­tions En­voy for Syria Staffan de Mis­tura said he was “ap­palled and shocked by the high num­ber of rock­ets in­dis­crim­i­nately launched” on civil­ian sub­urbs of gov­ern­men­theld Aleppo.

“Those who ar­gue that this is meant to re­lieve the siege of east­ern Aleppo should be re­minded that noth­ing jus­ti­fies the use of dis­pro­por­tion­ate and in­dis­crim­i­nate weapons, in­clud­ing heavy ones, on civil­ian ar­eas and it could amount to war crimes,” De Mis­tura said.

Sun­day’s shelling came on the third day of the in­sur­gent of­fen­sive that aims to breach a gov­ern­ment siege on Aleppo’s rebel-held east­ern dis­tricts, ap­par­ently aim­ing to push out gov­ern­ment troops from front line ar­eas.


A tight siege has been in place since July, trap­ping nearly 275,000 civil­ians in east­ern rebel-held Aleppo. The di­vid­ing lines be­tween gov­ern­ment-held and rebel-con­trolled Aleppo are of­ten streets lined with de­serted build­ings or ex­tended plas­tic sheets to mark ri­val turfs.

Imad al-Khal, a 63-year old res­i­dent of west­ern Aleppo, said there was fierce shelling over the past three days. “We are hear­ing now strong shelling by mil­i­tary jets and the ar­tillery,” he said.

A state TV pre­sen­ter, Shadi Halwi, said in a video post on his Face­book page that for the first time in gov­ern­ment-held Aleppo, “the sound of clashes is strong, very loud”.

Rus­sia and the Syr­ian gov­ern­ment have halted their airstrikes on the east­ern rebel-held part of Aleppo since last week to al­low for evac­u­a­tion of wounded and civil­ians. But no evac­u­a­tion took place and ef­forts to al­low med­i­cal and food sup­plies into the be­sieged area also fal­tered. Mean­while, pro-gov­ern­ment troops kept up a ground of­fen­sive against rebel-held ar­eas.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Jamaica

© PressReader. All rights reserved.