Syrian Army Tightens Siege on al-Qaeda Districts in Aleppo

Civilians Among 28 Killed in Airstrikes Against Aleppo

by Jason Ditz, July 17, 2016

A little over a week after Syrian forces got close enough to Castello Road to severely limit traffic across that last supply route into al-Qaeda-held parts of Aleppo, the troops have advanced further, and now totally control the road, tightening the siege even further.

The offensive aims to end a stalemate over Aleppo, once Syria’s financial and industrial capital, which as been contested by myriad forces throughout the civil war. The city has been held half by the government and half by al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front in recent months, with the two trading fire regularly.

The UN estimates some 300,000 civilians trapped in al-Qaeda’s Aleppo, and while al-Qaeda has bragged about its substantial stockpile of supplies, preparing to weather the siege for months on end, the locals aren’t nearly so fortunate, meaning that as usual, they are heavily at risk by the fighting.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported 28 people killed in the latest airstrikes against Nusra districts, including a number of children. It’s unclear if all the slain were civilians, but in both the airstrikes and al-Qaeda’s shelling of the government districts, the toll has tended to be virtually exclusively innocent bystanders.

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