Violence continues in Damascus, Aleppo despite Syria truce

A medic and civilians carry a casualty after what activists said were airstrikes followed by shelling by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in the Douma neighborhood of Damascus. File photo: Reuters

DAMASCUS – Syrian regime’s bombardment continued in Damascus and Aleppo despite a three-day truce reached to minimise violence during the Eid celebrations. 

The US State Department said on Thursday it was deeply disturbing that Syrian forces were continuing attacks in areas such as Aleppo and the Damascus suburbs.

The United States also urged Russia to exert pressure on the Syrian government to halt such attacks.

State Department spokesman John Kirby told a news briefing that the reports of the continued attacks were received despite the fact that violence had been “broadly reduced” during a 72-hour ceasefire announced by the Syrian army on Wednesday. 

In the meantime, pro0-Assad troops advanced to within 1km of the strategic Castello Road in Aleppo on Thursday, putting it within range of light weapons and effectively cutting the northern city off from the surrounding countryside.

Aleppo, Syria’s largest city and economic hub before the civil war, has been divided for years into rebel and government held sections.

Assad and his allies say they are battling the al Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front in Aleppo – neither group is included in the temporary ceasefire – but rebel groups fighting under the banner of the Free Syrian Army say they are in complete control of the city’s rebel-held areas.

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