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Aleppo Deadlock Eased by Kurdish Merchants - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Beirut- As the humanitarian state worsens in the neighborhoods of eastern Aleppo, Syria’s northern capital, incidents are reported of Kurdish parties members breaking through the regime-imposed siege and successfully smuggling both medical and food aid.

Russia, a long-term ally of Syrian regime head Bashar al-Assad launched a vicious air campaign supporting regime ground forces in September last year. The incessant bombardment of both opposition-held and regime-signed areas had received international condemnation.

Many opposition-held areas in eastern Aleppo now face not only fire and bombardment but also a dire case of starvation and insufficient sustenance.

Russia held a 10-hour pause in fighting on November 4 and a three-day truce in late October.

Sheikh Maqsood, a Kurdish-majority Aleppo region, had been home to many distant and close relatives of families held under siege in eastern Aleppo neighborhoods. Many of the family members and Kurdish shopkeepers established a backdoor route to opposition-held neighborhoods as to deliver whatever is possible in humanitarian relief.

Social integration and sense of humanity, in addition to sideline trade opportunity, had been the chief drive behind Kurdish activists, businessmen and civilians embarking on the quest to cast of a life to Aleppo’s east, Kurdish sources said.

Despite Sheikh Maqsood being on the receiving end of rebel-fire every now and then, the desperate situation in areas facing deadlock had served as a crossover bridge to overcome any tensions, sources added.

Russia’s defense ministry had earlier dismissed as “counterproductive” a request from the United Nations to extend future pauses in fighting to allow aid into rebel-held eastern Aleppo as winter comes.

The ministry said it received a request from the head of a UN-backed humanitarian task-force for Syria, Jan Egeland, to make future breaks in fighting longer to allow in aid supplies.

Egeland earlier warned that the “last food rations” were being distributed in eastern Aleppo after four months of deadlock.

On the other hand, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Saturday it would need the U.N. mission in Syria to formally confirm its ability to deliver aid to eastern Aleppo before Moscow agreed to any new humanitarian pauses in fighting in the shattered Syrian city.