MESOP BACKGROUNDER ALEPPO : 23 May 2016 – By Scott Lucas – eaworldview – Russia tried to cut off the main route into opposition-held districts of Syria’s largest city Aleppo on Sunday, with airstrikes on the al-Castello road.A rebel official said the road was still open but dangerous. Russian and regime warplanes have bombed the route for months, and it has also been attacked by the Kurdish militia YPG in clashes with rebels since February, with snipers firing at traffic and civilians.
Ground assaults, led by the Assad regime’s foreign allies, have failed to take over the area near the road, including the village of Handarat. With the breakdown across Syria of a February 27 “cessation of hostilities”, brokered by Moscow and Washington, Russia has resumed its bombing in and near Aleppo city. Russian and regime attacks have killed hundreds of civilians and damaged hospitals, mosques, bakeries, schools, and a water treatment plant.
Russia’s Defense Ministry put out the pretext on Sunday that the jihadists of Jabhat al-Nusra, which is not covered by the cessation of hostilities, were firing missiles from the al-Castello road at nearby areas. Civilians were also killed yesterday by regime airstrikes on neighboring opposition-held Idlib Province, including Idlib city. www.mesop.de