Syrian Rebels Shell Aleppo, Killing 34 Civilians in Govt-Held Areas

200 Other Civilians Wounded in Attacks on Major Northern City

by Jason Ditz, July 08, 2016

A Syrian rebel group led by al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front has shelled government-held districts in the major northern city of Aleppo today, killing at least 34 civilians and wounding an estimated 200 others. The attacks came as the Syrian military advanced on a key road leading to the al-Qaeda-held parts of the city.

The Syrian state media accused the rebels of violating the Eid al-Fitr ceasefire, though it does not appear that this faction ever agreed to any ceasefire. Al-Qaeda and the Syrian military have repeatedly exchanged fire over parts of the city.

Before the Syrian Civil War, Aleppo was the industrial and financial capital of Syria. Rebels and the military both sought the battle over Aleppo would decide the civil war, but it never conclusively ended, instead leading to the destruction of large portions of the city, with several districts falling under the control of different factions.

Nusra’s control over its half of the city is in growing doubt, as the Syrian military advances on the last road leading into that area, effectively cutting off their supply lines. Al-Qaeda clearly isn’t giving up, and will likely push for more counterattacks against the military to reclaim the road.

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