Beirut, Ankara- Syrian opposition forces launched Thursday the second phase of the battle to lift the siege of the eastern parts of Aleppo’s city, as a response to the one-side military truce that the Russian Army had announced in Aleppo for 10 hours starting Friday morning with an aim to remove opposition fighters from the city.
Clashes erupted in west Aleppo, mainly in the area of “1070 Apartment District,” the “3000 Residential Project, the Assad Suburb, the New Aleppo and the village of Minian.
A military commander in Aleppo told Asharq Al-Awsat that “opposition forces are currently located at the entrances of the New Aleppo neighborhoods and the 3000 Residential Project, which are two large and strategic areas.”
The commander said that in case the opposition succeeds to control this part of the city, it would have achieved 70 percent of the operation to lift the siege of the eastern parts of Aleppo.
The latest developments came on the eve of a Russian truce that is expected to enter into effect this Friday’s morning.
Russia’s Defense Ministry had directly addressed opposition leaders in the city, asking them to stop all warfare activities and to exit Aleppo using the two available corridors, one in the direction of the city of Idleb, and the other in the direction of the Syrian-Turkish borders.
The Syrian Democratic Forces militias, formed by a majority of Kurds and backed by the U.S., announced Thursday through their spokesperson Talal Silo that their fight against ISIS in northern Syria will continue without the participation of the Turkish forces.
Turkish diplomatic sources responded to Silo’s statement saying Turkey was still holding meetings and negotiations with U.S. officials concerning the operation to liberate Raqqa.
The sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that talks focused on the technical details and the coordination between the international coalition forces and members who will participate in the operation.
The sources also asserted that Ankara has not changed its position against the participation of Kurdish forces in the operation.