Rebels renew assault to break siege on Aleppo

Aug 01, 2016, 3:03 AM EDT
Conflict in Syria
(Source: Kurdishstruggle/flickr)

A week after the Syrian government’s forces cut off the last supply route to the opposition-held parts of Aleppo, the rebel fighters launched a major offensive to break the siege on the northern city where some 300,000 people are trapped with limited food and medical supplies.  A rebel military command center claimed to have seized army positions in the southwestern government-held parts of the city on Sunday.

The U.K. Observatory for Human Rights described it as the biggest assault against the government forces since the outbreak of conflict in Aleppo five years ago, notes Reuters. The Syrian army admitted that the rebel fighters began a fierce assault while denying that insurgents captured any of its posts.

On Thursday, the Syrian and Russian forces announced four exit corridors, three for civilians and one for the rebels who give up their weapons, but only 169 civilians left by Saturday, writes Al Jazeera. Rights groups have been criticizing the government’s siege tactics, saying that depriving the civilians of basic necessities is illegal.

U.S. officials said they suspected that the Syrian government’s large-scale humanitarian operation was a plan to depopulate the city of Aleppo so that the forces can seize it.