Besieged Aleppans impose make-shift 'no-fly zone' with burning tires

Besieged Aleppans impose make-shift 'no-fly zone' with burning tires
Residents of Aleppo burn tires to blind regime aircraft, as rebels make a last-ditch push to break the regime siege amid massive solidarity on social media
4 min read
01 August, 2016
Burning figurative tires in solidarity with Aleppo [Getty]
Civilian residents of the rebel-held parts of Aleppo are doing their part in resisting the regime's siege and supporting the rebels' bid to break it launched on Sunday.

Residents of other rebel-held cities and villages are also expressing solidarity with the rebel efforts.

In rebel-held Aleppo, residents have set tires on fire, covering the sky over the city and surrounding countryside with black plumes of smoke, as footage on social media showed, in an effort to decrease visibility for regime and Russian warplanes.

"The idea of setting tires on fire started with a group of children who acted spontaneously, before it spread in the rest of eastern Aleppo and the countryside," Mansour Hussein, an activist in Aleppo, told The New Arab

Many also took to the streets in a show of defiance, as rebel factions led by the Free Syrian Army and Jaish al-Fateh launched a major operation to break the regime siege on the city that has been in place since July 7, when regime forces captured the only road out of rebel-held Aleppo.

For his part, Majed Abdul-Nour, another activist, said: "There is a climate of celebration in liberated parts of Aleppo. The rebels are not alone."

The Battle for Aleppo

July 7: The Syrian regime and its allies moved in early July to capture Castello road
Castello road was the only supply line and road allowing the movement of supplies and people between rebel-held parts of Aleppo and the rebel hinterland in Aleppo and Idlib provinces.
July 17: Syrian regime forces cut off Castello road
The Syrian regime and allies, repeating tried siege tactics from places such as Homs, began a siege of rebel-held areas of Aleppo, estimated to hold 300,000 civilians. 
July 18: Mother of all sieges begins
The siege of Aleppo takes hold. It may be the "last nail in the coffin" for the peace talks in Syria.
July 27: No real exit: Syrian regime offers corridors for civilians, rebels to turn themselves in 'safely'
The Syrian regime and key ally Russia open so-called humanitarian corridors for civilians in Aleppo to flee and rebels to surrender, but non-stop shelling convince many it is a ruse.
July 31: Desperate rebel forces launch bid to break siege and prevent Aleppo's surrender
Syrian rebel factions in Aleppo launch a major operation to break siege of the city and prevent its fall into regime hands, reaching 3km from Castello road

A recent report from the Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN) found that 44 percent of those killed in Aleppo were the victim of airstrikes.

Around 30 percent of fatalities had been the result of shelling and explosions.

Around 3,570 Syrians have been killed by airstrikes so far this year.

Despite continual pleas for a no-fly zone to be enforced in Syria’s second city, international powers have bee reluctant to enforce their demands.

In support of the residents of besieged Aleppo, social media users have been using the hashtag AngerForAleppo to highlight what they say is the heroic steadfastness of the city's residents under assault.

An estimated 300,000 civilians are trapped in rebel-held parts of the city.

Since the siege took hold on July 17, there have been reports of food and fuel shortages, amid relentless bombardment by regime and Russian forces including of medical facilities.

Aleppo, Syria's once-economic powerhouse, is the second largest city in the country. It is divided between the regime in the western parts and the rebels in the east.

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