Aleppo ceasefire breaks down as regime shelling continues unabated

Aleppo ceasefire breaks down as regime shelling continues unabated
Shia militia forces broke the terms of the UN-brokered ceasefire almost immediately early on Wednesday morning, as continued shelling targeted rebel-held areas.
2 min read
14 December, 2016
A Syrian pre-regime militia fighter walks through rubble in Aleppo on 13 December [AFP]
The UN imposed ceasefire broke down on Wednesday morning after regime forces regime forces shelled rebel positions, amid delayed plans to evacuate civilians and rebels from east Aleppo.

Russia's defence ministry blamed the rebels for breaking the truce, saying that regime forces had responded to an attack.

"The attack by the terrorists was warded off. The Syrian army continued its operation to liberate the eastern districts of Aleppo controlled by the rebels," the defence ministry said in a statement.

Turkey's foreign minister meanwhile said that forces loyal to the Syrian regime were responsible for the breakdown of the ceasefire.

"What we're saying now is that the regime is working with a number of other groups to obstruct the implementation of the agreement," said Mevlut Cavusoglu.

A number of reports from various rebel groups has referenced the "complete absence" of Syrian forces in the city.

Shia militia soldiers, reportedly Iranian, prevented civilians and rebels from exiting the city and attacked civilian areas with missiles.

"The Iranian militias prevented injured women and children from evacuating," said Abd al-Salam Abd al-Razzaq, spokesperson for the rebel group Nur ad-Din Zenki.

Russia's Defence Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday morning he expected rebel resistance to last not more than a few days.

"I hope that in the next two to three days the situation in Aleppo will be resolved," Russia's Interfax news agency quoted Lavrov as saying.

Numerous accounts and videos have emerged which confirm that shelling resumed in various areas of Aleppo where rebel fighters were located.