A coalition of Syrian rebels led by the Nusra Front have been attacking government-held Western Aleppo since Friday, and escalated the strikes ahead of Russia’s new ceasefire. Reports out of the city suggest heavy firing against government-held neighborhoods.
While details are still emerging, 12 civilians were reported slain in the firing, and around 200 others were wounded. This toll is independent of the toll from fighting on the ground between rebels and military forces, for which no official figures have yet been released.
The Russian ceasefire is intended to offer a 10-hour window during which the rebels can leave the city freely through two corridors, taking their weapons and anything else with them, though the rebels have already denounced both the offer and the ceasefire, insisting they will never surrender the city.
Both sides have been trading fire for months, often shelling one another’s neighborhoods, attacks which tend to kill a lot more civilian bystanders than combatants. They also trade offensives and counteroffensives, aiming to take control of the entire city.
So far, neither side has been able to get serious gains in the fighting over the city. Some smaller gains by the Syrian military last month appear to be getting reversed with this new offensive by the rebels from outside the city.
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