Govt Issues Text Messages to Residents of East Aleppo, Urging Evacuation
At least 23 civilians, including 11 children have been killed across northern Syria over the weekend, with airstrikes and artillery shelling reported in several areas in and around the Aleppo Province. The largest strike was in the Kurdish area around Afrin’s border crossing into Turkey. It was unclear who launched the strike, but the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported 12 killed.
While the strikes and shelling around Aleppo city are likely the Syrian government’s doing, the Afrin incident could well be the Turkish military’s operation, as they have launched multiple attacks against Kurdish forces around Afrin in the past few months.
Four were reported killed in shelling around rebel-held Eastern Aleppo, with reports of new clashes around the frontier between government-held districts and those controlled by the rebels. The Syrian military has more or less reversed the losses they sustained in the recent Nusra Front counteroffensive in the southwest, and is back to looking to gain territory.
Residents within Eastern Aleppo have reported receiving text messages urging them to leave the area, and messages warning rebel forces to lay down their arms and agree to leave within the next 24 hours. Such warnings have been common, and civilians mostly have not evacuated, amid unconfirmed reports the rebels are preventing them from doing so.
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