The Syrian army has extended a nationwide ceasefire for three days as pro-Assad forces continue to advance against rebels in the north. Observers have called the truce mostly ineffective since its declaration last week.
As the countrywide ceasefire expired Friday, the Syrian military announced on Saturday that it would extend the cessation of hostilities for an extra 72 hours until midnight on July 12.
The initial truce was announced by the government on Wednesday in respect of the Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the Islamic month of fasting.
Despite the imposition of the “regime of calm,” fighting continues to rage in the country, with the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reporting the deaths of 155 civilians, including 48 children, in different parts of the Middle Eastern country.
The battle for Aleppo
On Friday night, the rebels fighting against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime responded to a government offensive by bombing Aleppo’s residential areas. The shelling killed at least 44 people, according to state media.
The UK-based Observatory also claimed that pro-Assad forces cut off the last supply route to rebel areas in the contested city of Aleppo.
An estimated 250,000 to 300,000 people live in the rebel-held areas of Aleppo.
The state-controlled Syrian media acknowledged the fighting outside Aleppo and other parts of the war-torn country, but said the government troops were only targeting “terrorists.”
Farhan Haq, a UN official in New York, said Friday that the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs was “extremely concerned at the unfolding situation in Aleppo, Syria, particularly the situation for the estimated 300,000 people trapped in the eastern part.”
shs/sms (AP, dpa)