Britain expresses concern over humanitarian crisis in Syria….reports Asian Lite News
Intense battles raged on Thursday in Syria’s Aleppo city, hours after government troops unleashed pre-emptive strikes on rebel positions in its countryside. Fierce fighting continued between the Syrian army, backed by the Lebanese Hezbollah and Russian air cover, and the rebel’s Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, formerly known as Al Nusra, in all areas in the southern countryside of Aleppo, Xinhua news agency quoted a source as saying on condition of anonymity.
Artillery and rocket shelling by the Syrian army on the positions of Jabhat Fateh al-Sham left the rebels in a state of “confusion”, the source added.
The Syrian army carried out a pre-emptive strike against a rebel position in the countryside of Aleppo on Wednesday, inflicting hefty losses among the opposition militants.
The source noted that the rebels were preparing to unleash an all-out offensive in Aleppo.
The air strikes targeted the gatherings of the rebels, killing “large numbers of them and destroying armoured vehicles outfitted with machine guns,” state run news agency Sana said.
Jabhat Fateh al-Sham announced on August 8 that the next phase of battles in Aleppo will be a wide-scale offensive to “liberate the entire city” from government forces.
The rebel group Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, or the Army of Conquest, an alliance of several rebel factions, was reportedly formed in March 2015 under the supervision and coordination of Saudi cleric Abdullah al-Muhaysini.
The group seized most of Idlib province in northwestern Syria in 2015.
Aleppo is strategic for all warring parties due to its key location beside the Turkish border and role as Syria’s industrial capital.
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson issued a statement on the humanitarian situation in Aleppo.
“When a tragedy on the scale of the Syria conflict persists for so long, there’s a risk that it becomes the new norm,” he said. “But we must challenge that mindset and not become inured to the desperate suffering of millions of people across Syria just because the conflict there has become so intractable and difficult to solve.
“Recently the situation in Aleppo has deteriorated following weeks of siege conditions imposed by the regime, with a significant increase in airstrikes and the horrific targeting of medical facilities. Over two million residents are faced with dangerously low supplies of food, water and medicine.
“While the siege has been broken, the Asad regime and Russia continue to bombard parts of the city and I am particularly concerned by reports of chlorine gas attacks which if proven, would be utterly abhorrent. We unequivocally condemn the use of chemical weapons by anyone anywhere and will work with the UN and other partners to establish the facts and hold those responsible to account.
“The international community risks failing the Syrian people if we do not do more to avert further devastation and tragedy. We must secure sustained humanitarian access and an end to the indiscriminate regime and Russian attacks on civilian areas, including medical centres. Yesterday I spoke to Sergey Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, and urged him to do this.
“We must also continue to make clear to the Asad regime that there is no victory in the brutal torture of its own people. Ultimately, the solution lies in an enduring political settlement based on transition away from the Asad regime. And the UK will continue to make every effort to support this.”