Beirut- Syrian opposition factions launched a wide-scale offensive to free Aleppo’s eastern neighborhood and lift the regime-imposed siege. The rebel-launched operation is being called “Aleppo’s Epic Battle,” with an arsenal of missiles and projectiles targeting regime-controlled areas.
Rebels took over the regime-held suburbs making a dashing advance whilst aiming to take down project 3000 located in the city’s western vicinity. Fighting extends at a 15 km long front at Aleppo’s west, rebel sources said.
Ammar Sakkar, military spokesperson for Fastaqim Union rebel group in Aleppo, said hundreds of fighters were taking part in the offensive.
“All the revolutionary factions, without exception, are participating in the battle,” he told the Associated Press.
An estimated 300,000 people are under regime siege in eastern Aleppo, where residents report declining or damaged supplies of necessities including food, water, electricity and medicine.
Regime forces, backed by their Russian allies, have stepped up attacks in Aleppo in recent weeks in an attempt to retake the rebel-held area.
Rebels broke the siege on eastern Aleppo in early August, opening up a new route into the city from the south.
Later, regime forces re-imposed the blockade.
Aleppo has been a focus of the Syrian war since regime forces besieged it in July, part of an early push to reclaim a major city that has been partly controlled by rebels since 2012. The rebel-held eastern side has since been heavily bombarded, with help from Russian forces, killing hundreds of civilians and drawing harsh international condemnation.
Elsewhere, rebels fired dozens of rockets into the outskirts of Qardaha, the home town of Syrian regime head Bashar al-Assad in the north-west of the war-devastated country, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
Rebels also shelled areas near the Hmeimim air base in Syria’s coastal province of Latakia, which is a launchpad for Russian airstrikes against rebels, the Observatory added.
Russia began an air campaign in Syria in 2015 to help Assad’s authoritarian regime.