Govern­ment forces call on Aleppo rebels to sur­ren­der

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - NEWS -

BEIRUT >> Syr­ian rebels and pro-govern­ment forces clashed Sun­day on sev­eral fronts around Aleppo as the coun­try’s mil­i­tary com­mand called on mil­i­tants to lay down their weapons and evac­u­ate the con­tested city.

A day af­ter pro-govern­ment forces cap­tured the strate­gic al-Shuqeef hill north of the city, the Bri­tain-based Syr­ian Ob­ser­va­tory for Hu­man Rights mon­i­tor­ing group re­ported fierce fight­ing in ar­eas near the hill and in the Bus­tan al-Basha neigh­bor­hood.

The two sides also clashed in Aleppo’s south­ern Sheikh Saeed neigh­bor­hood.

The govern­ment’s at­tempt to pen­e­trate Aleppo’s op­po­si­tion-held eastern side has been ac­com­pa­nied by a relentless cam­paign of airstrikes by Rus­sian and Syr­ian war­planes.

Pres­i­dent Bashar As­sad’s forces are de­pend­ing on the Rus­sia bom­bard­ment and Iran-backed mili­tias for sup­port.

A spokesman for the Nour el-Din el-Zinki rebel fac­tion told The As­so­ci­ated Press that for­eign fight­ers were ac­tively par­tic­i­pat­ing in the govern­ment’s ground cam­paign. He said rebels could iden­tify Le­banese and Iraqi mili­tias by their flags.

An airstrike, mean­while, tar­geted a rebel head­quar­ters near the cen­tral city of Hama, killing at least six mil­i­tants, the Ob­ser­va­tory said. It was a set­back for the rebel cam­paign to ad­vance on the gov­ern­ment­con­trolled city.

The U.N.’s hu­man­i­tar­ian chief, Stephen O’Brien, re­ported that eastern Aleppo’s health sys­tem has been “all but oblit­er­ated” by shelling and bom­bard­ment.

“Med­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties are being hit one by one,” O’Brien said in a state­ment that called for a 48-hour hu­man­i­tar­ian pause to the fight­ing each week. The U.N. es­ti­mates 275,000 peo­ple are trapped by the govern­ment siege.

“We are in a race against time to pro­tect and save civil­ians in eastern Aleppo city. They need our ur­gent ac­tion to bring an end to their liv­ing hell,” O’Brien said.

One of Aleppo’s largest hos­pi­tals, lo­cated in the eastern Sakhour neigh­bor­hood, was knocked out of service Satur­day by the airstrikes, doc­tors and ac­tivists re­ported.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.