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Regime invites Aleppo rebels to football friendly, bombs them Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Regime invites Aleppo rebels to football friendly, bombs them

The regime regularly sends mass text messages and drops leaflets over rebel-held Aleppo [Getty]

Date of publication: 24 November, 2016

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The Syrian government has sent out text messages and dropped leaflets inviting rebels in war-torn Aleppo to a "friendly" football match, as it pounded the city with raid raids.

The Syrian government has sent out text messages and dropped leaflets inviting rebels in war-torn Aleppo to a "friendly" football match, as it pounded the city with raid raids.

The messages were also posted on social media on Wednesday invited the rebels to play or watch the match so as to help achieve "national reconciliation".

Regime forces pushed deeper into rebel-held eastern Aleppo on Tuesday, forcing some civilians to flee to southern neighbourhoods to escape the onslaught of the assault to capture the entire city.

"Armed fighters in east Aleppo! Aleppo governorate invites you to attend or take part in a friendly football match. The match is a gesture of goodwill to bring about national reconciliation," the message read.

It added that people come at noon on Thursday to Hamdaniyeh Stadium through "previously announced safe passages".

It is not clear whether anyone has taken up the regime's offer.

The regime regularly sends mass text messages and drops leaflets over rebel-held Aleppo, but usually order fighters to quit the city and for residents to cooperate with its troops.

This week, the Syrian military dropped leaflets on Aleppo with a picture of a green coach like those used in the past to transport civilians and rebels from areas retaken by the government.

The invitation has been met with scorn from residents of Aleppo.

"Is this some kind of sick joke? I'll be playing only if Assad's head is the ball," said one commentator on social media.

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