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Ceasefire in Aleppo Collapses With Renewed Bombing

Aleppo
This photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA shows Syrian troops and pro-government gunmen marching through the streets of east Aleppo / AP
• December 14, 2016 11:22 am

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A ceasefire in Aleppo, Syria between rebels and the Syrian government fell apart on Wednesday as bombing resumed after only a few short hours of quiet in the besieged city.

The deal was brokered by Russia, which supports the Syrian regime, and Turkey, which has backed various rebel groups, and began at midnight. Fighting began again in the morning, according to media reports, with each side accusing the other of starting the renewed violence.

As part of the deal, Syrian regime buses were made available to transport civilians and rebel fighters out of the area. When fighting resumed, however, the buses returned back to their depots empty. Evacuations are now delayed and it is unknown when they may start again.

Forces supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad reportedly struck with rockets parts of Aleppo that rebels have held, according to activists. Airstrikes began shortly afterward. It is unclear whether the airstrikes were carried out by regime or Russian aircraft.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that at least six people were killed in the fighting, the Associated Press reported.

If the evacuation did occur, the rebels would have effectively surrendered eastern Aleppo to the Assad regime and its allies, who are on the verge of taking the entire city. Many civilians do not want to fall under the control of the Syrian government for fear of reprisal attacks. The United Nations has accused the regime of killing civilians, and there are reports of civilians missing after fleeing to regime-controlled areas. Pro-Assad fighters have been carrying out mass executions and burning civilians alive in Aleppo.

Published under: Bashar al-Assad, Russia, Syria, Turkey