Activists in Aleppo province said that at least 12 civilians were killed and dozens more wounded in airstrikes by the Assad regime and Russian forces on the city’s eastern parts and on its countryside on Sunday. Internationally banned weapons, such as napalm and cluster bombs, were used in the airstrikes.
The activists said that regime helicopters dropped leaflets on the eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo vowing to relentlessly bomb the city should civilians refuse to evacuate the embattled city in a maximum period of 24 hours. The Assad regime have sent similar threats before.
Regime forces, backed by the Iraqi Popular Mobilization militia and Russian aerial cover, have been ramping up forces to storm the eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo. Russian and Assad regime jets have relentlessly bombed the city, targeting mainly vital civilian facilities to force civilians out.
The Syrian Coalition said that the international inaction has encouraged the Assad regime and its allies to escalate military operations putting increased pressure on the armed opposition on various battlefronts in an attempt to change the balance of power on the ground and consequently improve the regime’s position on the negotiations table.
The United Nations on Friday said it was “concerned” by the “ongoing hostilities” in Aleppo, warning that the “eastern part of the city remains inaccessible to humanitarian workers, where an estimated 275,000 people remain trapped under horrific conditions.”
“Food and health stocks are running dangerously low in the city,” Farhan Haq, the deputy UN spokesman, said at a daily news briefing on Friday. The UN has not been able to reach the eastern part of the city since July.
Regime forces and Iranian-backed militias, backed by Russian aerial cover, have laid siege on the rebel-held eastern parts of Aleppo for nearly two months. The blockade has caused severe shortages of food and medical supplies, threatening the lives of about 300,000 civilians trapped inside. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Office)