The Free Syrian Army and rebel groups on Thursday made a new push into the regime-held western Aleppo. Heavy clashes with regime forces and their allied foreign militias were reported. The FSA and rebel groups have captured several buildings blocks in New Aleppo district and the 3000 Apartments Project area in western Aleppo which were defended mainly by militants of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization militias and Iranian-backed militias.
Activists said that the latest FSA and rebel advances represent the second phase of the offensive called the “Great Epic Battle of Aleppo” which FSA and rebel groups began last week to break the siege on eastern Aleppo where over 300,000 people are trapped.
The activists said the new push began with FSA and rebel fighters firing a barrage of artillery and rocket shells on regime positions, followed by a ground attack by dozens of “storm troops.” Dozens of pro-regime forces have been killed and injured in the attack, while many more retreated to neighboring districts controlled by regime forces.
The first phase of the offensive began on Friday with FSA and rebel fighter making substantial gains against regime forces in western Aleppo, especially in Dahiyat Al-Assad and Binyan areas.
Regime forces and their Russian allies responded by pounding eastern Aleppo with different types of weapons, including internationally banned ones. The bombing on eastern Aleppo has been concentrated on vital civilian centers, such as hospitals, schools, and public markets with the aim of forcing the civilian population out of their homes. Western countries, most notably the United Sates, the UK, and France said that the systematic attacks on civilians in Aleppo by the Assad regime and Russian forces constitute war crimes. (Source: Syrian Coalition)