Syrian regime forces on Friday attacked the opposition-held section of the northern city of Aleppo in spite of an announcement by Damascus and allied Russia of starting a humanitarian operation for people besieged.
Syrian government said it had opened three humanitarian corridors in Aleppo.
“This will help civilians leave the rebel-held neighbourhoods in eastern Aleppo on which regime forces are imposing a tight siege after they blocked all supply routes into them,’’ a monitoring group and activists said.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that only 12 people have since left the city’s beleaguered areas through one humanitarian passageway before rebel groups set up checkpoints.
The Observatory’s head Rami Abdel-Rahman told newsmen that regime aircraft and artillery struck rebel-held districts overnight.
However he did not give casualty figures.
According to Abdel-Rahman, entrances to the humanitarian corridors from the opposition-controlled areas were on Friday effectively shut.
“The other end of the passages in regime-held areas is still open although people are not going there,’’ Abdel-Rahman said.
Activists inside rebel-held districts said inhabitants were hesitant about leaving because they were afraid to be arrested by regime forces after crossing the humanitarian routes.
Meanwhile an estimated 250,000 to 300,000 civilians are thought to remain in Aleppo’s opposition-held sector.
Once Syria’s commercial hub, Aleppo has been divided between government forces in the west and rebels in the east since fighting erupted for control of the city in mid-2012.