Syrian government refuses U.N. truce terms for Aleppo
BEIRUT — The Syrian government on Sunday refused a U.N. proposal to grant the rebel-held eastern districts of Aleppo autonomy in order to restore calm to the war-torn city.
Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said the state’s institutions “must be restored” across the city and the militants expelled.
At least 164 civilians have been killed since the government renewed its assault on the besieged enclave six days ago, according to the Britainbased Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The U. N. estimates 275,000 people are trapped inside. By Saturday, the government had damaged or destroyed every hospital in the east, according to the Syrian American Medical Society, which supports hospitals in Syria.
On Sunday, pro-government forces advanced into parts of the strategically important Hanano district in the northeast Aleppo, A man leads children from a school hit by rocket fire in western Aleppo on Sunday. according to state media and the Observatory.
Rebels outside the city have launched two unsuccessful offensives to break the government’s siege and have shelled the government-held western districts. U.N. envoy Staffan de Mistura had proposed that the Syrian govern- ment grant eastern Aleppo autonomy in exchange for peace, and called on the estimated 900 al-Qaidalinked militants in the east to depart to other rebelheld territory in Syria.
But al-Moallem refused the offer in a meeting with de Mistura on Sunday.
Syrian opposition forces, meanwhile, pressed on with their preparations to attack the Islamic Stateheld town of al-Bab, 21 miles northeast of Aleppo. They are backed by Turkish ground forces operating inside Syria. AlMoallem called the Turkish presence a “violation” of Syrian territory.