As U.S. attacks ISIS, Syria steps up assaults on moderate rebels

The Washington Post reports: Syrian government forces have dramatically intensified air and ground assaults on areas held by moderate rebels, attempting to deliver crippling blows as world attention shifts to airstrikes by a U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria.

Since Monday, Syrian aircraft have targeted Aleppo in the north, the eastern suburbs of Damascus and southern areas near the Jordanian border, launching more than 210 airstrikes, said Rami Abdulrahman of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a group that monitors the civil war.

Rebels in Aleppo say President Bashar al-Assad’s military has escalated attacks in northern areas of the city, trying to cut the supply lines of opposition fighters inside Aleppo.

“During the last three days, we have been hit by over 120 barrel bombs,” said Ahmed Abu Talal, a rebel belonging to the Islamic Front group, referring to particularly deadly high-explosive bombs that are often dropped by helicopter. [Continue reading…]

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