Syria Presses Aleppo Advance, Tells Rebels to Leave

تم نشره في Sat 1 October / Oct 2016. 11:00 PM
  • Syrian forces advancing in Aleppo - (AFP)

BEIRUT — Syrian government and allied forces advanced north of Aleppo, pressing their week-old offensive to take the insurgent-held, eastern part of the city after dozens of overnight air strikes.

The Syrian army told rebels to leave the area, offering safe passage and aid supplies.

The Syrian military, supported by Iranian-backed militias and Russian air power, began their push to take the whole of the divided city after a ceasefire collapsed last month. The assault has nearly destroyed eastern Aleppo's healthcare system, the U.N said.

An air campaign by the Syrian government and its allies was reinforced by a ground offensive targeting the besieged eastern half of the city where insurgents have been holding out.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Syrian military said the army and its allies had advanced south from the Handarat refugee camp north of Aleppo city, which they took earlier this week, taking the Kindi hospital and parts of the Shuqaif industrial area.

Air strikes and shelling continued on Sunday, the Observatory said.

Zakaria Malahifji, of the Aleppo-based rebel group Fastaqim, told Reuters there were clashes in this area on Sunday.

The Observatory added that there was fierce fighting between rebels and government forces all along the front line which cuts the city in two.

The Syrian army said on Sunday that rebel fighters should vacate east Aleppo and it would guarantee them safe passage and necessary aid.

"The army high command calls all armed fighters in the eastern neighbourhood of Aleppo to leave these neighbourhoods and let civilian residents live their normal lives," the statement carried by state news agency SANA said.