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Syrian regime troops besiege rebel-held parts of Aleppo Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Syrian regime troops besiege rebel-held parts of Aleppo

The Castello Road had been used to bring goods into the city [Getty]

Date of publication: 17 July, 2016

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Rebel-controlled parts of Syria's battered northern city of Aleppo has come under total siege, after government forces severed the last route out of the east.
Rebel-controlled parts of Syria's battered northern city of Aleppo has come under total siege, after government forces severed the last route out of the east.

Regime forces and their allies descended on the Castello Road and fully cut it on Sunday, besieging hundreds of thousands of people  it is the only road leading into and out of rebel-held parts of the city.

"The eastern neighbourhoods are now completely besieged," said Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights [SOHR].

Aleppo-based activist Bahaa al-Halaby confirmed that rebel-held neighbourhoods in the city were under "full siege."

The army had advanced on July 7 to within firing range of the key supply route but had not reached the road itself.

Aleppo city is divided roughly between government control in the west and rebel control in the east, where an estimated 300,000 civilians rely on the Castello Road for travel, food and medicine.

The Castello Road had been used by rebels but also by shopkeepers bringing in produce for residents and by villagers visiting relatives in the city.

Government troops reached a point where they could fire on the road earlier this month, effectively cutting it off, though some people still made the dangerous journey.

On Saturday, at least 28 civilians including children were killed in bombardment of the eastern districts of the city, according to the SOHR.

Another four people died in rebel rocket fire on the western government-controlled neighbourhoods.

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