Russia initiates new operation against Islamic State in Syria’s Aleppo

ALEPPO, Syria - At least ten civilians have been killed in a fresh offensive launched by Russia in Syria’s war-torn Aleppo.  Russia, in a show of power is said to have launched ...

• Who is the target of Russian airstrikes if Islamic State is absent in Aleppo?

• Human rights activists infuriated over Russia’s new airstrikes, claim the operation only targets innocent civilians

• Hospitals and civilian infrastructure bombed by airstrikes in Syria

ALEPPO, Syria - At least ten civilians have been killed in a fresh offensive launched by Russia in Syria’s war-torn Aleppo. 

Russia, in a show of power is said to have launched airstrikes that involved bombing carrier-borne jets and long-range missiles, activists said. 

Russia’s defense minister, Sergei Shoigu, said it had started “a big operation to deliver massive strikes” to stop the ‘black flags’ of Islamic State from being raised in Syria’s capital city.

Jets are being taken off from Russia’s aircraft carrier, the Russian military informed and added that it will be targeting ammunition depots, training camps and armaments factories.

The freshly launched airstrikes disrupted the three week respite that civilians got after heavy fighting broke out in the northern city of Aleppo.

The extended military push by Russia comes merely a day after Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke on telephone and discussed ways to fight “international terrorism and extremism” which they agreed was the top priority for both the nations.

America’s President-elect Donald Trump was also heard saying during one of his campaigns that he would be glad to use cooperation from Russia to fight the Sunni Muslim militants of the Islamic State.

Russia, along with the Syrian government, recently declared truce in Aleppo, offering civilians a safe passage in rebel-held areas blockaded by pro-government forces since July, but it was accepted by very few.

The Obama administration, on the other hand, had been trying to negotiate ceasefire for months, claiming that much of the operation to fight terrorists was used to fight anti-government rebels instead.

The administration has also condemned the newly launched Russian offensive in Syria, citing indiscriminate bombing by the Syrian government and its Russian allies. 

While Russia and the Syrian government claim that they have been targeting only hard-line jihadists and Islamic State, activists argue that the only people being targeted are innocent civilians, who are being killed brutally.

“Our house is being shaken. The warplane is still in the sky,” said Modar Sheikho, a nurse and anti-government activist in rebel-held Aleppo was quoted as saying.

Residents also claim that the airstrikes are much more powerful than before. 

Mahmoud Raslan, a pro-opposition photographer and activist, in an interview via a mobile messaging app on Tuesday informed, “It’s more violent than before. The bombs have parachutes and have more destructive power than the ones used before.”

Reports also reveal that hospitals, breadlines and civilian infrastructure have all been bombed down by the Russia-led airstrikes, obliterating any source or chance of livelihood in the city.

According to the World Food Program and the Food and Agricultural Organisation, factors such as rising prices, poor weather, general instability and the lack of fertilizer and seeds could force some farmers to stop producing. 

Aleppo has reportedly become the fiercest front of battle in Syria's five-and-a-half-year old war, leading to several thousands of civilian deaths.


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