Air strikes, fighting mark end of Aleppo ceasefire

    Air strikes, fighting mark end of Aleppo ceasefire

    Oct.23, Aleppo: Heavy clashes erupted between regime and rebel forces in Syria's divided city of Aleppo after a unilateral ceasefire announced by Russia expired, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said.

    The first Syrian or Russian air strikes on Aleppo, Syria's most populous city before the civil war, since Russia began the pause in hostilities on Thursday hit a key frontline in the city's southwest.

    Ground clashes and shelling, which had continued throughout the day on frontlines, intensified.

    The pause began on Thursday, and came after Moscow announced a temporary halt to the Syrian army's campaign to recapture the divided city.

    Moscow had extended the unilateral "humanitarian pause" into a third day until 1600 GMT Saturday, but announced no further renewal of the truce despite a UN request for longer to evacuate wounded civilians.

    "Members of popular civil committees from regime districts entered the eastern neighbourhoods to try to evacuate the injured but failed," SOHR head Rami Abdel Rahman said.

    The SOHR reported fierce fighting in several areas of Aleppo, with three people wounded by shelling of the rebel-held Salaheddin and Al-Mashhad districts.

    No civilians were evacuated during the truce, Ingy Sedky, spokeswoman for the International Committee of the Red Cross in Syria, said, adding that evacuations were impossible due to the poor security situation in the city.

    Syrian state media and Russian authorities have accused rebels in the east of preventing civilians from leaving and using them as "human shields".

    More than 2,000 civilians have been wounded since the army launched its offensive to drive the rebels out of the eastern districts they have held since 2012. Nearly 500 people have been killed.

    The Oslo Times International News Network


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