Thousands of civilians escape Russian airstrikes north Syria

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A Syrian girl and boy walk across the muddy grounds of the Bab Al Salame displacement camp in Aleppo Governorate. ©UNICEF

ARA News

ALEPPO – More than 15,000 Syrian civilians fled Aleppo province due to intensified Russian airstrikes, activists reported on Friday.

This comes amid fears that Aleppo falls under a full siege by pro-Assad forces.

“Thousands of families escaped their homes in Aleppo province, heading to Turkey,” local media activist Tammam Hashim told ARA News.

“Thousands of people crossed into Turkey through the Bab al-Salam border crossing, while many others are still stranded at the border gate, waiting to be allowed to enter the Turkish territory,” the source said. 

The increasing civilian casualties under the Russian raids in Aleppo caused a state of panic among the residents of Syria’s most populated province. 

“People fear that Aleppo falls under a full siege by pro-Assad army and Hezbollah militants,” Hashim said. 

On Friday, Syrian army forces and allied Hezbollah militants seized control of Ratyan town in the northern countryside of Aleppo province.

“Backed by Russian airstrikes, pro-Assad troops took over Ratyan after heavy fighting with rebels of the Levant Front,” rebel spokesman Saleh Zein told ARA News. 

Aleppo province is divided between the Syrian regime’s troops, moderate rebel groups, ISIS and al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front. Civilians suffer a sharp shortage of basic supplies amid intensifying fighting across the province. 

“The situation in Aleppo is a humanitarian catastrophe,” an opposition spokesman told reporters in Geneva after the ill-fated peace talks. “The international community must take urgent, concrete steps to address it.” 

Reporting by: Taim Khalil 

Source: ARA News 

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