First food delivery in a month enters rebel-held Aleppo

First food delivery in a month enters rebel-held Aleppo
Food entered rebel-held eastern Aleppo for the first time in a month on Sunday after opposition fighters broke a three-week government siege of the city.
3 min read
08 August, 2016
There have been reports of extensive food and fuel shortages in eastern Aleppo [Getty]

The first food entered rebel-held eastern Aleppo in a month on Sunday, after opposition fighters broke a three-week Syrian regime siege on the district.

Rebels brought seven pick-up trucks full of fruit and vegetables into the eastern sector of Aleppo, which had been under government siege since 17 July.

"Opposition forces are sweeping through some areas to secure Ramouseh road and make it possible for more aid convoys to come in," local activist Omar Arab told The New Arab.

Breaking the siege

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

On Saturday, rebels surged through regime territories around the besieged district breaking the government's encirclement.

The rebel victory is a major setback for the regime and opens up  a new route into the Aleppo's besieged eastern neighbourhoods, home to as many as 300,000 people.

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The operation triggered celebrations in eastern districts and sparked fears in regime-controlled western areas that they could be the next besieged territory.

Opposition fighters have worked to ease tensions as they ready for a new assault on regime areas, and assure civilians that there will be no revenge killings.

Rebels released a statement on Saturday, pledging to protect civilians in Aleppo - Syria's largest city and former commercial heart.

"We assure the people of Aleppo that whoever enters his home is safe, whoever enters a mosque or a church is safe and whoever lays [lays] down his weapon is safe too," it said.


Regime and rebel forces have sent in hundreds of fighters and extra military equipment to bolster troops who are readying for the crucial "Battle for Aleppo", the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights [SOHR] said on Monday.

"An estimated 2,000 Syrian, Iraqi, and Iranian fighters, as well as Lebanese fighters from (Shia movement) Hizballah have arrived in Aleppo since Sunday night," SOHR head Rami Abdel Rahman said.

"Hundreds of fighters, specifically from the Fatah al-Sham Front (formerly al-Qaeda's Syrian branch), and others arrived in Aleppo city from other parts of the province and Idlib province."

Late on Sunday, Islamist rebel group Jaish al-Fatah (Army of Conquest) pledged to "double the number of fighters" to recapture all of Aleppo city.

The Battle for Aleppo has raged since mid-2012 and is among the fiercest so far in Syria's chaotic multi-front war, which has killed as many as 500,000 people since it erupted five years ago.

The intense week-long battle in Aleppo has left more than 500 dead, including rebel fighters, government forces and at least 130 civilians.