Russian air strikes enable DAESH to seize route to Aleppo

DAESH takes control of main supply route to Aleppo and strategic village of Khanaser thanks to Russian air strikes

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Residents inspect damage and make repairs after an airstrike on the opposition held al-Fardous neighbourhood of Aleppo, Syria February 18, 2016

Updated Feb 24, 2016

An important Syrian regime supply route to Aleppo has been shut on Tuesday, as Russian air strikes hit the area and DAESH terrorist took the control of the village of Khanaser.

Earlier in the day, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said the “heavy” assault was carried out by Russian air forces, a day after a ceasefire plan was presented by the United States and Russia after it's been repeatedly derailed by the intensified Syrian regime and Russian air strikes in the country. 

Director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdulrahman, said the air strikes targeted an important road, as it is one of the last road remained connecting opposition-held areas of Aleppo with the other oppostion-held areas including the city of Idlib which is strategically important for the Syrian regime. The regime has been using the road to Aleppo for supply line for ground shipments and troop transports.

The DAESH and Nusra Front, which are defined as “terrorist” by the UN Security Council were excluded from the "cessation of hostilities" terms set to applied on February 27. Both the US and Russia continue to target those terrorist groups with air strikes in Syria.

On Monday, the United States and Russia presented an interim agreement on Syria cessasion of hostilities after long efforts to provide a convenient environment for meetings. 

The main opposition bloc, the High Negotions Committee (HNC), stipulated to agree on terms only if Russia stops its campaign of air strikes in Syria.  

A spokesman for the HNC said that some terms of cessation were heavily influenced by Russia and were obscure. He said opposition fears that Russia would use the terms agreed on by both sides and taking it as an excuse to target Free Syrian Army, claiming to target “terrorist” factions.

"We are studying this truce and we are worried about the obscure points. There is no objection to the truce if it is implemented precisely, without Russia taking it as an excuse to target the moderate revolutionary factions," Muslet said.  

The cessation terms were also promised to be applied by the regime leader Assad on condition “terrorists” did not use a lull in fighting to their advantage and that countries backing opposition forces halted support for them.

Syrian regime forces have been supported by Russian air strikes since September 2015, when the regime leader Bashar al Assad asked for help in his offensive "against DAESH terrorist organization."

However, Russian officials later admitted bombing non-DAESH, opposition held areas where civilians live, after it was blamed by the US for using DAESH as an excuse to preserve the Assad regime.

On Tuesday, UN Independent International Commission said both Syrian regime and DAESH were responsible for war crimes against humanity.

TRTWorld and agencies