The Wall Street Journal reports: Syria’s military said Wednesday it will decrease airstrikes on Aleppo’s rebel-held areas after an international outcry over its Russian-backed bombardment of civilians over the past few weeks.
The military command accused rebel groups in Aleppo of using civilians as human shields and claimed that it wanted to improve the humanitarian situation in Aleppo’s opposition-held neighborhoods, where some 300,000 people live under siege by the government.
The army “has decided to reduce the number of air and artillery strikes on the positions of the terrorists to help civilians who want to leave [for] safe areas,” it said in a statement carried by Syria’s state news agency SANA. The Syrian government routinely describes its opponents as terrorists.
The Syrian army and its allies, including key military backer Russia, launched a new offensive in Aleppo’s eastern neighborhoods after a U.S.-Russian brokered cease-fire collapsed last month. Heavy bombardment has since targeted hospitals and killed hundreds of civilians.
The Syrian government continued to bomb Aleppo on Wednesday, according to the U.K.-based opposition monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, as rebel groups targeted the city’s government-held areas with rocket-propelled grenades. [Continue reading…]