Syrian army takes hold of Castello road to block only vent for opposition

A civil defence member looks for survivors amid rubble of damaged houses after an airstrike on rebel held Old Aleppo, Syria July 16, 2016. REUTERS/Abdalrhman Ismail
A civil defence member looks for survivors amid rubble of damaged houses after an airstrike on rebel held Old Aleppo, Syria July 16, 2016. REUTERS/Abdalrhman Ismail

The Syrian army and pro-government forces have taken control of the main road leading into rebel-held areas in Aleppo, effectively cutting off the rebels’ main supply route, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported Sunday.

Aleppo has been a major battlefield in Syria since 2010, with fierce fighting between rebel groups and regime forces.

Castello Road, the only route into the city’s east, is now mostly in government hands, with pro-rebel neighborhoods in eastern Aleppo completely besieged, the observatory said. The road has been under constant bombardment from forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad’s government, the monitoring group told CNN.

Aleppo has seen many of its neighborhoods come under fire for 80 consecutive days, with more than 6,000 people — mainly civilians — killed or injured, according to the observatory. It said rebel-held areas in the east of the city have come under sustained attack by regime artillery and airstrikes, while rebel and Islamic factions have shelled regime-controlled areas in western neighborhoods.

Syria has witnessed a number of ceasefires come and go over the past few months. Despite Russia’s willingness to support the Assad regime militarily, Moscow and Washington have been working together to push for a cessation in the violence in Aleppo and surrounding areas.

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