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Sunday, October 30, 2016, 18:29

Rebels 'use poisonous gas' in Aleppo

By Xinhua

Rebels 'use poisonous gas' in Aleppo
Smoke billows from the frontline district of Dahiyet al-Assad following an attack by rebels on Syrian regime forces in the northern city of Aleppo on Oct 29, 2016. (Karam Al-Masri / AFP)

DAMASCUS – Rebels used poisonous gas in an attack on a Syrian military academy in the northern city of Aleppo on Sunday, pan-Arab Al Mayadeen TV reported.

A total of 15 people were affected in the attack, according to the report.

Earlier on Saturday, intense battles raged in an area infiltrated by the rebels during their wide-scale offensive in Syria's northern city of Aleppo, a military source told Xinhua.

A total of 15 people were affected in the poisonous gas attack by the rebels, Al Mayadeen TV reported

The "violent" confrontations between the Syrian army and an array of rebel groups, including extremist ones, flared in the Assad Suburb area, which was infiltrated by the rebels in western Aleppo on Friday, the source said on condition of anonymity.  The rebels infiltrated the Assad Suburb as part of a major offensive they unleashed a day earlier with the aim of breaking the government forces' siege on the rebel-held areas in eastern Aleppo city.

Military sources said the rebels' wide-scale offensive was foiled, in terms of achieving a breakthrough, but the rebels succeeded to infiltrate the Assad Suburb, which enables them to impose a siege on a nearby military academy, as a prelude to storm it.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said intense battles raged in the Jamiyet al-Zahra suburb in western Aleppo, saying the clashes were the most violent since the beginning of the military operations in Aleppo.

The UK-based watchdog group said rebels advanced into the areas of Menyan and Masken Mahana and other areas in Jamiyet al-Zahra.

The Observatory said the Russian warplanes were carrying out intense airstrikes against the rebels in support for the government forces.

The Russian airstrikes were had been halted in Aleppo since Oct 18, before resuming on Saturday.

Rebels 'use poisonous gas' in Aleppo
A picture taken on Oct 29, 2016 shows a makeshift checkpoint in the neighborhood of Dahiyet al-Assad, southwest of Aleppo, after rebel fighters retook control of the area. (Omar Haj Kadour / AFP)

The Russian leadership halted the airstrikes to give the United States time to separate the terrorist groups from the "moderate rebels," as part of a Russian-US agreement.

A day earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin turned down a request by his defense ministry for resuming the airstrikes.

But on Saturday, activists reported heavy Russian airstrikes, in what appeared to be another Russian decision to aid the Syrian army.

Observers said the halted Russia airstrikes were a main reason behind the rebels brazen offensive in Aleppo.

Observers believe that Aleppo is going to be the decisive battle ground among the fighting groups, and the winner will be the one dictating its conditions to resolve the crisis, as the province contain all the groups that are supported by regional and international powers, with the civilians paying the price for this proxy war.

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