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Rebels in Syria launch operation to break Aleppo siege

Rebel fighters rest near their weapons inside a safe house in the rebel held al-Rashideen neighbourhood, Western Aleppo province, Syria July 31, 2016. REUTERS/Ammar Abdullah
Rebel fighters rest near their weapons inside a safe house in the rebel held al-Rashideen neighbourhood, Western Aleppo province, Syria July 31, 2016. REUTERS/Ammar Abdullah

Beirut: Armed rebels in Aleppo have launched a military operation aimed at breaking week-long regime siege of the opposition-controlled eastern part of the Syrian city.

Hundreds of opposition troops are taking part in the multi-pronged offensive and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights described the campaign as the largest military offensive launched by the rebels against government forces in years, reports the Guardian.

Rebels say they have pushed back the government forces across territory in the north and south of the city, taking control of areas that have been used as staging grounds for loyalist militias.

The campaign was launched on Sunday night and rebel supporters burnt thousands of rubber tyres in advance of the offensive in an attempt to obscure troop movements and limit the visibility of Syrian and Russian warplanes patrolling the skies.

About 2,50,000 civilians are believed to be living in the rebel-controlled territory and their plight has drawn growing international alarm. The area has been subjected to brutal air strikes from the forces of Bashar al-Assad and his Russian allies, destroying several of the last hospitals in the area. (ANI)

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