Civilian toll horrifies UN
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. –
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.