Syria Airstrikes Kill 26 Civilians as Aleppo Violence Surges

Over 200 Killed in Aleppo Since Ceasefire's Collapse

by Jason Ditz, September 25, 2016

A precipitous escalation of the airstrikes against the Nusra Front-held half of Aleppo continued today, with Syrian warplanes pounding the city, killing at least 26 civilians today. This brings the toll in the week since the ceasefire collapsed to 213 civilians, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The ceasefire ended Monday, and airstrikes picked up dramatically Friday, with unnamed Syrian officials saying that the goal is to clear a way for a “comprehensive” ground invasion, aimed at gaining full control of Aleppo for the first time since 2012.

In the meantime, the airstrikes are adding to an already shaky humanitarian situation in Aleppo, with reports on Saturday that water to the entire metro area of Aleppo was knocked out by damage around a pumping station in the rebel areas. The repairs weren’t completed, by all accounts, but the water was again flowing within a few hours.

Nusra gained its control in Aleppo during the February ceasefire, when they used the relative calm, and the fact that they weren’t a party to the truce, to surge into the countryside from their strongholds in Idlib. Ultimately, they took half of Aleppo itself, which has led to months of offensives and counter-offensives, and tit-for-tat strikes which have killed large numbers of civilians.

The Syrian government seems more confident than ever that they’ll be able to actually take the city, or what’s left of it, but they’ve been confident in the past, and all such efforts so far have failed for all factions involved, leaving the city in a state of perpetual stalemate.

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