Fighting Resumes Around Syria’s Aleppo as Ceasefire Expires

Five Rebels Reported Killed in Push for Key Supply Route

by Jason Ditz, May 12, 2016

An extended ceasefire over the area in and around the major Syrian city of Aleppo expired today, and almost immediately saw the resumption of fighting, with military forces pushing into the Handarat area north of the city.

Reports say that airstrikes were launched against the area, as troops pushed their way in, seizing parts of the area. Five rebels were killed, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Lebanon’s Hezbollah issued a statement claiming the rebels had violated the ceasefire before the push.

The Syrian Army reported gains in the area, while the rebels insisted they’d later reversed those gains, and that no serious territory had exchanged hands. Handarat is part of the main route into the parts of Aleppo held by al-Qaeda, and taking the area would likely be a prelude to a push into the city.

Aleppo has been contested throughout the civil war, and in recent weeks the fighting had become increasingly bloody, with Syrian forces and al-Qaeda exchanging artillery fire into one another’s civilian neighborhoods, killing hundreds of bystanders.

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