Clashes in Syria’s Aleppo after army warning
AFP photoSyrian government forces clashed with rebels on the outskirts of eastern Aleppo city on Nov. 13, a monitor said, after residents received messages from the army giving opposition fighters 24 hours to leave.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor, and an AFP correspondent in rebel-held east Aleppo reported clashes in the Karam al-Turab neighborhood and the village of Al-Aziza just outside the city.
The AFP correspondent said the fighting could be heard in much of the rebel-held east, which is surrounded by government forces and has come under repeated assault since the army announced an operation to recapture it in September.
The fighting came as residents in east Aleppo received text messages warning rebels to leave within 24 hours.
“Gunmen in east Aleppo, you have 24 hours only to take the decision to leave,” the message said.
“Those who want to save their lives must put down their weapons and their safety will be guaranteed. After the end of this period, the planned strategic offensive will begin,” it added.
Meanwhile, the European Union on Nov. 14 placed 17 Syrian ministers plus the central bank governor on a sanctions blacklist targeting the regime of President Bashar al-Assad over attacks on civilians.
They face travel bans and asset freezes for “being responsible for the violent repression against the civilian population in Syria, benefiting from or supporting the regime, and/or being associated with such persons,” an EU statement said.
EU leaders agreed at a summit in October to increase sanctions against the Assad regime, citing devastating attacks on Syria’s second city of Aleppo, and added 10 top military and government officials to the list.