Tags: aleppo | airstrikes | syrian | offensive | ceasefire

Aleppo Airstrikes, Syrian Offensive Kill Hopes of Ceasefire

Image: Aleppo Airstrikes, Syrian Offensive Kill Hopes of Ceasefire

A boy inspects damage after airstrikes in Aleppo on Friday. (Abdalrhman Ismail/Reuters)

By    |   Friday, 23 Sep 2016 01:41 PM

Aleppo airstrikes heavier than ever and an announced Syrian army offensive to recapture Syria’s biggest city have killed off any lingering hopes of a ceasefire brokered between the U.S., Russia, and some of the myriad of factions fighting out in the field.

Warplanes launched some of the heaviest airstrikes of the war on rebel areas of Aleppo on Friday, said Reuters.

On Thursday night, the Syrian military publicized “the start of its operations in the eastern districts of Aleppo,” warning people of the danger and telling them to stay away from “the headquarters and positions of the armed terrorist gangs.”

The army said it expected the operation to include a ground attack, which was expected to last “for some time.”

Streets in the city were empty as nearly 250,000 people were still trapped in the rebel-held sector of Aleppo, seeking shelter from jets.

“Can you hear it? The neighborhood is getting hit right now by missiles. We can hear the planes right now,” Mohammad Abu Rajab, a radiologist, told Reuters. “The planes are not leaving the sky, helicopters, barrel bombs, warplanes.”

A rebel commander called the bombings the fiercest the city had ever seen.

“I woke up to a powerful earthquake though I was in a place far away from where the missile landed,” the commander said in a voice recording to Reuters.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, there were at least 40 airstrikes since midnight, Reuters noted.

Ammar al Selmo, the head of civil defense rescue service in Aleppo — known as the White Helmets — said three of their four centers had been hit and more than 30 people died in the strikes, and that doesn’t include the many who are “still under the rubble,” NBC News reported.

“What’s happening now is annihilation in every sense of the word,” Selmo said. “Today the bombardment is more violent, with a larger number of planes.”

The Aleppo airstrikes came shortly after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with members of the White Helmets. In a tweet following the bombings, Kerry had this to say: “When bombs explode in #Syria, the White Helmets are the brave 1st responders on the scene.”

International meetings on Syria at the UN in New York City had been trying to come to terms on a truce. Like previous efforts though, this one also failed and it might be the last one before President Barack Obama leaves the White House.

 

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Aleppo airstrikes heavier than ever and an announced Syrian army offensive to recapture Syria’s biggest city have killed off any lingering hopes of a ceasefire brokered between the U.S., Russia, and some of the myriad of factions fighting out in the field.
aleppo, airstrikes, syrian, offensive, ceasefire
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2016-41-23
Friday, 23 Sep 2016 01:41 PM
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