Bombs continue to fall on Syria despite regime 'truce'

Bombs continue to fall on Syria despite regime 'truce'
Video: More than 33 people were killed in Syrian regime and Russian bombing on Wednesday, despite Damascus' promises of a truce to mark the Muslim Eid holidays.
3 min read
07 July, 2016
Syrian opposition territories were bombed on Wednesday, hours after the Syrian regime announced a nationwide ceasefire for three days.

Rebel-held areas in Aleppo and Idlib provinces were bombed despite Damascus' promise of a 72-hours Eid al-Fitr truce.

Three children were killed in five separate air raids on Jisr al-Shigour in Idlib province, while a car bomb exploded outside a mosque in the city, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Other air raids took place in Aleppo, while clashes between rebels and regime fighters continued across the day.

A total of 33 people died according to the Local Coordination Committees, with Russian and regime war planes both suspected.

Regime advances cut the only road leading to rebel-held parts of Aleppo in the firing range, cutting it off on Thursday.

"Currently nobody can get in or out of Aleppo," a member of the Aleppo-based rebel group Fastaqim told Reuters.

"[The road] was not risk-free, but now there is not a matter of danger, now the road is cut," Zakaria Malahjifi said.

Rebel forces are battling to push back regime advances.

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"All the factions sent reinforcements and are trying to take back the positions taken by the government, but the situation is very bad, there was heavy government air cover in the night," another rebel official told Reuters.

It is estimated that between 250,000 and 300,000 people live in areas held by the opposition in Aleppo, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

In Ghouta, a rebel-held area in the Damascus suburbs, regime artillery hit Douma city, while clashes continued between rebel and regime fighters in Daraa, Latakia and Homs.

Meanwhile, US-led coalition warplanes killed 56 civilians including 19 children in Manbij in Aleppo province, according to the Observatory.

Assault on Manbij

Kurdish-led forces are continuing their assault on the Islamic State group stronghold in northern Syria, and are slowly advancing in the southern districts of Manbij and seized a number of silos on Wednesday.

Coalition aircraft which are supporting the Kurdish-Arab forces on the ground have conducted 325 air raids around Manbij since 21 May, including 29 strikes in the past four days.

This has helped anti-IS fighters to gain 1,000 kilometres of territory and a foothold in Manbij, which is an important supply route for the jihadi force.

"The SDF [Syrian Democratic Forces] has repeatedly defeated [IS] attempts to punch a hole through the cordon," said Operation Inherent Resolve spokesperson Colonel Christopher Garver on Wednesday.

He said this pressure is forcing IS to bring in new recruits to defend the city from the Kurdish-Arab force.

"We've seen [IS] fighters leaving these previously defended towns to attempt to reinforce Manbij," Garver said.

"As the pressure increases against [IS] in Manbij, they are demonstrating more desperation to keep [IS] strategic crossroads open for access outside Syria."