After U.N. Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura warned that without a truce in Aleppo, “we could see 400,000 people moving toward the Turkish border,” rebel and government fighters announced an official ceasefire Wednesday night.
As American sources reported the new arrangement, fighting continued in the city after a night of violent clashes, a result of the offensive launched by jihadist groups (some call them “rebels”) that were able to penetrate, apparently due to an underground tunnel and under an intense rocket fire, the western area of the city controlled by government forces. Only after several hours, at the first light of day, the army was able to repel the assault that left an unknown number of dead and injured on both sides.
These were the most violent clashes in Aleppo since last year, accompanied by heavy government air strikes on enemy locations and fire from heavy weapons fired by jihadists toward the western area of the city. Since April 22, at least 280 civilians have died in Aleppo. On Wednesday there were skirmishes also in Ghouta, east of Damascus.
Also the “rebels” have huge responsibility for the failure of the ceasefire proclaimed in late February. Yet according to France and the United States, the blame can be attributed only to Damascus. To them, only one side is committing crimes.