19:48 Sep. 27, 2016
Russia and Syrian government forces ignore Western appeals to renew peace and attack besieged city from all sides
Syrian government forces and their allies attacked the opposition-held sector of Aleppo on several fronts on Tuesday, the biggest ground assault yet in a massive new military campaign that has destroyed a US-backed ceasefire, Reuters report.
The United States already declared the assault on Aleppo proof that President Bashar al-Assad and his Russian and regional allies have abandoned an international peace process to pursue victory on the battlefield after nearly six years of civil war.
Washington, which agreed a ceasefire with Russia this month that collapsed after a week, says Moscow and Damascus are guilty of "barbarism" and war crimes for targeting civilians, health workers and aid deliveries in air strikes.
More than 250,000 civilians are believed to be trapped inside the besieged rebel-held sector of Aleppo, where intensive bombing over the past week has killed hundreds of people, many trapped under buildings brought down by bunker-busting bombs.
Only about 30 doctors are left inside, coping with hundreds of wounded each day who are being treated on the floors of hospitals that are bereft of supplies. The World Health Organization called for the "immediate establishment of humanitarian routes to evacuate sick and wounded" from the besieged eastern part of the city.
Tuesday's assault saw pro-government forces, which include the Syrian army and allied militia from Iran, Iraq and Lebanon, attempt to attack Aleppo's Old City near its historic citadel, as well as around several of the city's major access points.
Troops advanced from the countryside to the north and south, rebels said, leading to intense clashes. The military and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitoring group, said the army had made some gains, but this was disputed by rebels who said they had held them off.