Aleppo cease-fire ends in Syria, bombing resumes

(USA TODAY) -- Fighting resumed Sunday in Aleppo, Syria, after a three-day "humanitarian" cease-fire ended without residents actually leaving the eastern parts of the war-torn city.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it wasn't aware of a single person who evacuated through any of the eight approved evacuation routes, according to CNN. Local groups have said residents either feared an ambush along the routes or were suspicious that the Syrian and Russian governments encouraged the evacuations to clear rebels from the area.

The United Nations hoped the cease-fire would allow people who have been seriously injured in the constant fighting around Aleppo in recent months to leave and receive medical care. But like many residents of Aleppo, U.N. officials said they were worried about coming under attack and canceled plans for medical evacuations.

“You have various parties to the conflict and those with influence and they all have to be on the same page on this and they are not,” David Swanson, a spokesman for the U.N. humanitarian office, told The Guardian.

Fighting resumed Sunday with mortars raining down on a southern village of Aleppo, Khan Touman, which overlooks the highway connecting Aleppo and government-held cities in the center of Syria, according to the Associated Press. In the east, warplanes flew overhead as residents reported three deaths since fighting resumed.

And a hard-line Islamist rebel coalition, Jaish al-Fatah, announced that it was starting a campaign with its militants and kamikazee fighters to break the government's siege of Aleppo.

"Zero hour has drawn near," the group's commander, Ali Abu Adi al-Aloush, told the Qasioun News Agency, according to the AP.

The resumption of fighting around Aleppo has renewed the complicated web of allegiances that have defined the Syrian conflict, which the U.N. estimates has killed more than 400,000 over the past five years.

On Sunday, Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based terrorist organization that has fought alongside Syrian government forces, accused Turkey of trying to use the conflict to increase its reach in the Middle East.

He also said the insurgency against Syrian President Bashar Assad is a facade to weaken the region’s Shiite Muslim power structure, referring to the Iran-Syria-Hezbollah alliance, the AP reported. Thousands of Hezbollah fighters are in Syria in defense of the government, and senior commanders in Iran’s powerful Republican Guard are in advisory positions.


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment
More Stories