Assad regime cuts off last supply route to east Aleppo

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A baby killed by Assad-Russian airstrikes on Aleppo

The Assad regime said that pro-government forces have cut off all supply routes into the eastern, rebel-held part of Aleppo in the country’s north.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, eastern Aleppo has been under effective siege since July 11, and advances in recent days by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad have strengthened their control of the only route in.

“Today there is no way at all to bring anything into Aleppo,” Observatory Director Rami Abdel Rahman said on Wednesday.

An advance by pro-regime forces around the only remaining supply route into the eastern sector this month enabled them to fire on it at close range, making the battlefront Castello road too deadly to use and putting at least 250,000 people in rebel-held districts under siege.

“We’re hearing from activists and eye-witnesses that regime forces are taking more and more of that area,” Al Jazeera’s Mohammed Jamjoom, reporting from Gaziantep on the Turkish side of the Syria-Turkey border, said.

“That is posing a real precarious problem for rebel fighters because the city is being increasingly encircled by regime forces.”

Airstrikes kill dozens of civilians

Assad regime’s and Russian airstrikes in Aleppo have killed dozens of people in the past few days, according to activists and a monitor.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Tuesday that Syrian government helicopters targeted the al-Mashhad neighborhood in the rebel-held half of the city, killing at least 18 people.

The Observatory added that the number of casualties was likely to rise due to the high number of people critically wounded.

Zouhir Al Shimale, an Aleppo-based journalist, said air strikes, including on a residential building, have killed at least 32 people over the past two days.

“Residents say the building was full of families [internally displaced] from other areas,” he told Al Jazeera by telephone.

More than 42 civilians were reportedly killed and dozens more wounded in air strikes launched by the Syrian government in al-Atareb, a city in the northern Aleppo province.

Assad regime’s airstrikes have put four makeshift hospitals and a local blood bank in Aleppo out of action on Sunday, in addition to airstrikes on several neighborhoods in Aleppo, according to local rescue workers and a monitor.

“Five medical facilities were hit [overnight] and are out of service right now,” Ammar Salmo, spokesman for a volunteer rescue group known as the White Helmets told Al Jazeera.