Civil­ian toll hor­ri­fies UN

The Myanmar Times - - World -

SYRIA’S regime and rebels en­gaged in fierce fight­ing in Aleppo’s west­ern edges, where 41 civil­ians were killed in an op­po­si­tion of­fen­sive the UN warned could amount to war crimes.

Rebels have un­leashed car bombs and salvos of rock­ets and shells to break through gov­ern­ment lines and reach the 250,000 peo­ple be­sieged in the city’s east.

Syr­ian state me­dia on Oc­to­ber 30 ac­cused them of fir­ing shells con­tain­ing toxic gas into gov­ern­ment­con­trolled dis­tricts.

State news agency SANA re­ported that 35 peo­ple were suf­fer­ing from short­ness of breath, numb­ness and mus­cle spasms af­ter “toxic gases” hit the front­line dis­trict of Dahiyet alAs­sad and regime-held Ham­daniyeh.

Two days of heavy rebel bom­bard­ment have killed 41 civil­ians, in­clud­ing 16 chil­dren, and wounded 250, ac­cord­ing to the Bri­tain-based Syr­ian Ob­ser­va­tory for Hu­man Rights.

The civil­ian toll was slammed by UN peace en­voy to Syria Staffan de Mis­tura, whose of­fice said he was “ap­palled and shocked by the high num­ber of rock­ets” fired by rebels.

Syria’s sec­ond city Aleppo has been rav­aged by some of the heav­i­est fight­ing of the coun­try’s five-year war which has killed more than 300,000 peo­ple.

In­tense fight­ing on Oc­to­ber 30 rocked west­ern dis­tricts, bat­tered by hun­dreds of rebel rock­ets and ar­tillery fire, ac­cord­ing to Ob­ser­va­tory head Rami Ab­del Rah­man.

The mon­i­tor said fight­ing had also killed 55 regime and al­lied fight­ers, as well as 64 Syr­ian rebels.

Dozens of civil­ians, in­clud­ing women and chil­dren, were seen flee­ing Dahiyet al-As­sad, bring­ing be­long­ings stuffed into plas­tic bags, hoist­ing them on top of their heads or drag­ging them along the dusty road.

A pro-regime mil­i­tary source said that the rebel as­sault was “mas­sive and co­or­di­nated”, but in­sisted it was un­able to break into any neigh­bour­hoods be­yond Dahiyet al-As­sad. –

Photo: AFP

Syr­i­ans leave Aleppo’s south­west­ern front­line neigh­bour­hood of Dahiyet alAs­sad on Oc­to­ber 30 – the third day of a rebel of­fen­sive to break a three-month regime siege on the op­po­si­tion-held east of Syria’s sec­ond city.

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