Syria bombarded by air as army prepares ground invasion of Aleppo
Deutsche Welle, Sep 23 2016
The Syrian army launched dozens of airstrikes Friday on rebel-held areas of Aleppo in preparation for a ground offensive, state media and several news agencies reported on Friday, citing military officials. Numerous reports emerged of damage to emergency service facilities and underground shelters, leading many residents of the embattled city to hide in their homes, unable to flee. In 2015, Russia launched a military campaign in Syria to bolster Assad’s rule. But the conflict is raging with no end in sight. A Syrian military source told Reuters:
With respect to the air or artillery strikes, they may continue for some time depending on the field situation and the terrorists’ losses. Like any military operation, it starts with preparatory airstrikes and artillery, and then the ground forces work according to the results of the strikes and their impact.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported by early evening at least 40 airstrikes. The White Helmets reported that at least 93 people had been killed during Friday’s barrage. The Syrian army on Thursday announced “the start of its operations in the eastern districts of Aleppo,” warning civilians to stay clear of “the headquarters and positions of the armed terrorist gangs.” Jackass Kerry called on Moscow and Damascus to halt aerial raids in a bid to salvage the “cessation of hostilities.” However, the Observatory reported apparent Russian aircraft taking part in airstrikes on Aleppo. Ammar al-Selmo, the head of the civil defense rescue services in Aleppo, said at least three of its four centers in the city had been hit by aerial bombardment. Al-Selmo told Reuters:
What’s happening now is annihilation in every sense of the word. Today, the bombardment is more violent, with a larger number of planes.
Water services have also been severed for nearly two million Syrians in Aleppo following Thursday and Friday’s attacks, reported UNICEF.