UN delegate to Syria says opposition offensive on civilian-crowded western Aleppo is a war crime

Rebel fighters from the Jaish al-Fatah (or Army of Conquest) brigades fire a home-made mortar launcher during a major assault on Syrian government forces West of Aleppo city on October 28, 2016. Syrian opposition fighters launched a major assault on government forces to break a months-long siege of rebel-held neighbourhoods of the battered city of Aleppo. Rebel groups including the powerful Ahrar al-Sham faction and former Al-Qaeda affiliate Fateh al-Sham Front fired waves of rockets into government-held western Aleppo, killing at least 15 civilians, a monitor said. The rebels also targeted government positions east of Aleppo city and in the coastal province of Latakia. / AFP / Omar haj kadour
Rebel fighters from the Jaish al-Fatah (or Army of Conquest) brigades fire a home-made mortar launcher during a major assault on Syrian government forces West of Aleppo city on October 28, 2016.
Syrian opposition fighters launched a major assault on government forces to break a months-long siege of rebel-held neighbourhoods of the battered city of Aleppo. Rebel groups including the powerful Ahrar al-Sham faction and former Al-Qaeda affiliate Fateh al-Sham Front fired waves of rockets into government-held western Aleppo, killing at least 15 civilians, a monitor said. The rebels also targeted government positions east of Aleppo city and in the coastal province of Latakia. / AFP / Omar haj kadour

The United Nations delegate for Syria, Staffan de Mistura has confirmed that he was “appalled and shocked” by indiscriminate rocket attacks targeting civilians in Aleppo after three days of a fresh rebel offensive in which dozens have died so far.

The Guardian reported Staffan de Mistura as saying, “Those who argue that this is meant to relieve the siege of eastern Aleppo should be reminded that nothing justifies the use of disproportionate and indiscriminate weapons, including heavy ones, on civilian areas and it could amount to war crimes.”

Syrian opposition fighters continued their shelling of government-controlled areas of the city, killing at least seven people, including three children, state TV reported.

“The rebels used car bombs and tanks to push into new territory in western areas. The Syrian government claimed the opposition fighters used toxic gas.” Reported The Guardian.

The attacks raised the death toll in the three-day old offensive to at least 41 civilians, including 16 children, The Guardian cited the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The observatory said hundreds of mortars were lobbed, it added.

The syrian rebels said the offensive aims to break the government siege on Aleppo’s rebel-held eastern districts, obviously aiming to push out government troops from frontline areas.

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