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Syrian Opposition Launches Full-Scale Offensive to Liberate Aleppo | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Smoke rises after airstrikes on the rebel-held al-Sakhour neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria April 29, 2016. REUTERS/Abdalrhman Ismail

Beirut-Syrian Opposition forces line up in preparation to launch the attack which would free supply routes to Aleppo clogged by regime forces to salvage besieged civilians inside.

Bashar al-Assad’s regime on Sunday had tightened its grip around opposition-held eastern Aleppo neighborhoods, which forced the hand of opposition forces to find a military plan to be carried on as of Monday.

A prominent military commander at Jaish al-Fatah (JaF), otherwise named Army of Conquest, told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that the plan to relief eastern neighborhoods was developed after a Saturday meeting which brought together all JaF faction representatives.

The decision was made to launch a total battle across Aleppo, which kicked off Saturday evening.

The commander said that Assad’s regime had advanced on the Lattakia rural area axis, which has forced JaF forces to relocate their combatants to the battle zone as to restore control over lost territory.

The source later added that the units had returned to Aleppo Sunday afternoon in preparation to launch the offensive to free Aleppo city from regime grip.

The source said that the Aleppo military offensive depends on direct man to man combat and the rule out of air power and tanks. Considered critical and all-decisive, all JaF forces will be partaking at the Aleppo offensive.

Aleppo enjoys great political and military significance and specifics that come to play– all parties involved in the Syria civil war are present at the area and are considerably influential.

Regime forces, Sunday morning, advanced to cut off the last supply route leading into the eastern Aleppo neighborhoods which are packed with thousands of civilians.

Castello Road, the only route into the city’s east, is now mostly in the hands of Assad-loyal forces, with pro-opposition neighborhoods in eastern Aleppo completely besieged.

The road has been under constant strikes from forces loyal to Assad’s regime.

Delivering aid throughout Syria was already extremely challenging, but with the regime cutting off Castello Road, delivering humanitarian aid to eastern Aleppo has been rendered nearly impossible, aid workers say.

Aleppo has seen many of its neighborhoods come under fire for 80 consecutive days, with more than 6,000 civilians killed or injured, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

It said opposition-held areas in the east of the city have come under sustained attack by regime artillery and airstrikes.