Syria pounds Aleppo rebels as peace plan falls apart

Sep 23, 2016, 1:12 AM EDT
Destruction in Syria
(Source: Freedom House/flickr)

The Syrian military announced a fresh offensive in the rebel-held parts of eastern Aleppo and pounded the city with a string of airstrikes, killing at least 13 people on Thursday. The latest assault comes as a meeting between U.S. Secretary Of State, John Kerry, and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov ended without any headway on how to restore a week-long ceasefire that collapsed on Monday.

The U.N. envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, described the meeting of the International Syria Support Group as “long, painful and disappointing,” writes Reuters. While Kerry announced that Washington and Moscow can “no longer continue on the same path,” he left the door open, saying that the U.S. would welcome “immediate and significant” steps from Russia.

The U.S. wants Russia to exert pressure on the Syrian regime to stop using its air power against the opposition in eastern Aleppo whereas Moscow insists that the rebels offensive should come to a halt if airstrikes are to be stopped in the city, notes the BBC.

The Syrian army statement declaring the new operation called on the civilians to stay away from the areas where rebels operate and to head to government checkpoints for a safe exit from the war-hit city, reports The Guardian. Amid intense air raids, some 49 people have been killed in eastern Aleppo in the last two days.