Syrian opposition vows to break siege of Aleppo

Published July 18th, 2016 - 09:00 GMT
Syrian civil defense workers look for survivors under the rubble of a collapsed building following reported air strikes on July 17, 2016 in the rebel-controlled neighborhood of Karm Homad in the northern city of Aleppo. (AFP/Thaer Mohammed)
Syrian civil defense workers look for survivors under the rubble of a collapsed building following reported air strikes on July 17, 2016 in the rebel-controlled neighborhood of Karm Homad in the northern city of Aleppo. (AFP/Thaer Mohammed)

Syrian regime and allies took advantage of incidents in Turkey and launched series of airstrikes on opposition-controlled areas to the west of Aleppo. They targeted medical centers including Omar bin Abdul Aziz Hospital which is now out of service.

This came hours after the Washington-Moscow agreement to try and save the cease-fire in Syria. Meanwhile, the Syrian opposition vowed to launch its “Aleppo Battle” soon to break its siege.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said in a statement, “Eleven civilians, including four children, were killed by air raids after midnight in the Bab al-Nasr area of Old Aleppo, and seven others were killed in Fardous neighborhood.”

Military sources with the opposition said that the rebels are trying to exert all needed pressure to break Aleppo’s siege. The source told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that during the last few hours, opposition fighters were able able to target regime sites in the municipal building and Aleppo citadel, killing and injuring a number of them.

The military source also revealed that revolutionary factions, including Fatah army, are preparing for the battle to retake Aleppo. 

Meanwhile, Agence France Press (AFP) reported that eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo are under constant air raids.

AFP correspondent reported that Omar bin Abdul Aziz hospital in the Maadi neighborhood was hit in the bombing, wounding some of the staff and patients inside. The hospital was also targeted with barrels forcing the administration to shut down.

Activist Abdul Qader Allaf pointed out that the hospital is now completely out of service. He mentioned that this the fourth time in two years that government forces had targeted the hospital.

Allaf told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that the regime took advantage of the incidents in Turkey to intensify its air raids on opposition areas in Aleppo.

He explained that the bombardment is aggravating the suffering of the besieged people as the food supplies can barely last for a month.

AFP added that opposition responded to the attack by bombing the western neighborhoods under regime control.

The latest field developments came after a lengthy 12-hours talks between US State Secretary John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergi Lavrov in Moscow. They had reached a common understanding on the steps now needed to get Syria’s peace process back on track.

Since 2012, regime and opposition forces have divided Aleppo’s neighborhoods, the second largest city in Syria. Over 200,000 citizens have been under siege in the eastern neighborhoods since last week after Syrian regime was able to gain control over Castello Road.

As for Aleppo countryside, and Menbij front specifically, Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) were able to control the national hospital in Menbij city under Daesh control.

Syrian News Desk reported fighter of SDF Ahmad Ibrahim saying that the forces have gained full control over the hospital and a number of surrounding buildings following fierce clashes with Daesh fighters.

Ibrahim confirmed that the clashes led to the death and injury of over 40 Daesh fighters, while eight members of SDF were killed and 19 others injured. He added that forces are now on the outskirts of al-Rabta streets in Menbij west neighborhoods.

By Youssef Diab

Editor's note: This article has been edited from the source material.


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