MESOP Syria Daily: Will Assad’s Forces Cut Off Opposition in Aleppo?

July 08 -07:00 2016 –  By Scott Lucas – eaworldview – Pro-Assad forces are threatening to finally cut off the opposition in Aleppo, following an advance north of Syria’s largest city on Thursday. -Both pro-regime and pro-opposition accounts acknowledged that the Syrian military, enabled by Russian bombing and accompanied by Iraqi and Palestinian militias, moved into the southern part of the al-Mallah Farms. They closed on the al-Castello Road, the last main route into opposition-held parts of Aleppo.

The latest offensive by pro-Assad forces began last Friday. The regime, Russia, and foreign forces have been trying to cut off the route for months, with a series of failed offensives against the area near Handarat village and al-Mallah.Rebels said that they had regained some positions lost after a surge by the Syrian military on Wednesday night, but fighting was now 1.5 km (less than a mile) from the al-Castello Road, which was now within range of regime artillery.They said the route had not been “cut”, as widely reported by mainstream media, but had been closed because of shelling and bombing.

A rebel fighter said that Russia and the Assad regime were “unleashing hell”, with “parachutes” — Russian bombs and possibly cluster munitions — “raining” on the al-Castello Road:


Drone footage from an outlet connected with the regime military:

The Syrian military had declared a 71-hour ceasefire on Wednesday, only hours before its push from the northern part of al-Mallah into the south. The Assad regime did not explain the contradiction between the announcement and its latest attacks.Aleppo city has been divided since July 2012, with the opposition holding much of the eastern section despite sustained Russian and regime bombing and the threat of siege.