Syria's Aleppo militants attack government-held areas

October 29, 2016 3:30 pm

Terrorists from the Jaish al-Fath group fire a mortar shell during a major assault on Syrian government forces west of the city of , , October 28, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

Militant groups, including the Takfiri Ahrar al-Sham and Jaish al-Fath outfits, are continuing a large-scale push to seize the government-held eastern districts of the Syrian city of Aleppo.
“announce the start of the battle to break the siege of Aleppo,” Abu Yusef Muhajir, a commander and spokesman for the al-Qaeda-linked Ahrar al-Sham, said on Friday.
The extremists say the offensive is meant to break a siege on the city.
The offensive, during which barrages of rockets are being fired and car bomb attacks are being carried out, have killed at least 15 civilians, including a woman and two children, and 18 government soldiers and allied fighters, while wounding more than 100 other non-combatants, so far.
Also on Friday, the militants targeted government positions east of Aleppo and in the coastal province of Latakia, including the Hmeimim military base used by Russian forces.
The onslaught comes more than 10 days after Russia ceased its aerial operations over the city — which it had been carrying out in support of Damascus’ anti-terror fight — so that humanitarian efforts can continue in the city and civilians and militants not affiliated to terrorist groups can leave.
Earlier in the day, the Russian military asked President Vladimir Putin for authorization to resume the airstrikes, which Putin denied.
Last week, Russia implemented a three-day “humanitarian pause” in the airstrikes by Russian and Syrian air forces. No airstrikes have been carried out against the city since then despite the end of the truce.
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