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Syrian militants launch new Aleppo offensive to break government siege

An unnamed military official told state news agency SANA that “large numbers” of militants had attacked the military college in southern Aleppo


 

BEIRUT — Syrian insurgent groups launched a fresh offensive Saturday seeking to break a government siege on rebel-held neighbourhoods in the northern city of Aleppo, opposition activists and state media said. The militants claimed they had achieved their goal while state media denied that the blockade has been breached.

An unnamed military official told state news agency SANA that “large numbers” of militants had attacked the military college in southern Aleppo, adding that government forces were defending the sprawling base. SANA said the militant offensive was preceded by a number of car bombs that struck the area.

Shortly before sunset Saturday, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Local Coordination Committees said that militants were able to reach besieged areas. The Observatory said that although the militants outside the city did reach rebel-held neighbourhoods of eastern Aleppo, civilians still don’t have a safe route to leave because of intense airstrikes and shelling in the area.

Syrian state TV said the attack was repelled and the army has regained control of areas it lost earlier in the day at the military college. It added that government forces targeted militants as they retreated from the area.

Such conflicting claims are not uncommon in Syria when offensives are underway. The militants have launched several attacks over in recent days to try and break the siege.

The government completely closed the main road into the rebel-held areas of Aleppo on July 17, effectively besieging the neighbourhoods. The United Nations estimates that between 250,000 and 300,000 residents have been trapped in the besieged, eastern part of Aleppo since mid-July.

The UN and numerous relief organizations have warned of a looming humanitarian catastrophe as conditions there deteriorate.

The powerful ultraconservative Ahrar al-Sham group, which is taking part in the offensive along with several other factions, posted a video that showed what it said were its fighters inside the college known as the Artillery Academy. An Ahrar al-Sham fighter in the video claimed that militants are in full control of the college showing destroyed tanks and artillery pieces captured by the gunmen. Ahrar al-Sham’s coalition includes the Levant Conquest Front, al-Qaida’s branch in Syria which recently renamed itself and announced its separation from the global al-Qaida organization.

“It is only a matter of hours before we break the siege imposed on our brothers in Aleppo,” an Ahrar al-Sham fighter said in the video as gunfire could be heard in the background.

The video appeared genuine and corresponded to other Associated Press reporting of the events.

A State TV reporter in the area said the fighting was intense inside the college. The Lebanon-based Pan Arab TV station Al-Mayadeen, that has reporters on the government side of the city, reported that Syrian government reinforcements are being sent into conflict zone.

The military college is located about 1.6 kilometres (1 mile) from the besieged opposition areas.

Earlier Saturday, activists said predominantly Kurdish fighters are now in control of most of a stronghold of the Islamic State group in northern Syria after a push under the cover of airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition.

The Observatory said Syria Democratic Forces are in control of most of the town of Manbij amid fighting in northern neighbourhoods and the town’s centre.

Mustafa Bali, a Syria-based Kurdish activist, said that IS still holds some areas in Manbij, including the major northwestern neighbourhood of Sarab.

Bali said “it’s a matter of time” before SDF fighters capture the town.

If Manbij is captured by SDF, it will be the biggest strategic defeat for IS in Syria since July 2015, when the extremists lost the border town of Tal Abyad.


 

Syrian militants launch new Aleppo offensive to break government siege

  1. So sad this war …US has now invaded or been involved in more than 6 sovereign middle east countries…have they made any of them beter countries? ,,,not one they are all in chaos…US is pouring arms into these countries causing a refugee crisis like never before in history…But still they want to overthrow governments…They are not satisfied to stop in the middle east no…they are now into picking a fight with china and of course they always have a legitimate reason…Iraq weapons of mass destruction…Libya a stable country before US invaded ,they were saving the protesters…Syria again saving the protesters…Yet they were arming the people doing ethnic cleansing…before all this Vietnam…they seem unstoppable in their quest for doing right? the whole world must be wrong only they are right…O my God then Ukraine comes along they spend 5 billion on overthrowing this government and a promise of joining the west but in the east they need to do some ethnic cleansing as they are Russian speaking not good enough for the US…now training Kiev to kill them or they must conform…Nice one US surely you will not find anymore misbehaving nations…as the world knows your punishment for not conforming….OMG you are onto your next victim you are afraid of no nation …it is Russia I just know you will find the reason to fight with them and the whole world will stand in awe at your strength…You will lead and all will follow or they will think they are in hell….O my God who will save us from this powerful unjust nation.

  2. If the little English barbershop is correct, ISIS, AQ, al nusra and the other assorted rebels will continue to exercise their reign of terror in Aleppo. For the good of the Syrian people the siege needs to remain for the last time it was raised 300 truckloads of weapons and ammunition streamed in from Turkey to resupply the rebels while a humanitarian ‘corridor’ was open for the wounded and civilians. The Turks need Aleppo to destabilize the Assad regime. .

  3. Hillary and Obama’s have started more regime change war’s than W, but they don’t seem to believe in Colin Powell’s axiom, and “if you break it, you own it”.

    South Sudan is broken.
    Libya is broken, and it is creating chaos all the way down to Nigeria.
    Egypt is breaking.
    Syria is broken.
    Their failed Iraq policy led to the creation of ISIS.

    And these failues have created a tidal wave of human migration to Europe which is breaking Europe.

    Ukraine is broken.

    Turkey is on the verge of breaking.

    Can the world survive another 8 years of Hillary’s and Obama’s foreign policy?

    Robert Kagan, founder of the Project for the New American Century, and his whole gang (the gang behind George W. Bush) is supporting Hillary. Victoria Nuland, his wife, was one of the top deputies of Hillary at the State Department, and organized the Ukrainian coup and fiasco.

    A vote for Hillary is a vote for war, and probably a vote for war with Russia.

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