Food reaches Aleppo markets after breaking the siege

Food reaches Aleppo markets after breaking the siege

On Sunday, rebel forces brought seven pick-up trucks full of fruit and vegetables into the eastern districts of Aleppo to be distributed to local markets after breaking the government’s siege, an opposition fighter said.

Video footage seen by AFP showed crates of plums, tomatoes, watermelons and other greens lined up along a road.

An AFP journalist said the goods were very quickly purchased by hungry residents in the eastern districts.

But the route remains open only to military movements, and “not a single civilian has left the eastern districts because the road is too dangerous and not secured,” a monitor group said.

The rebel advance now puts the estimated 1.2 million living in government-held districts of the city under opposition encirclement, he added.

“The western districts of Aleppo are now besieged. There are no safe routes for civilians in government-held districts to use to get into or out of the city,” he told AFP.

Families in the western districts late Saturday rushed to buy any food and drink left in preparation for shortages.

“Unfortunately, after the road was cut, the price of a loaf of bread immediately shot up from 200 to 800 Syrian pounds,” said Walaa Hariri, a mother of three.

“I sent my sons to school but they are all nervous, and the teachers replaced their regular lessons with courses on what to do if there is shelling,” said the 48-year-old resident of the regime-held Furqan district.

Another 34-year-old resident told AFP that “food is already getting more expensive and the coming days risk being very difficult,” he said.

More than 700 fighters from both sides had been killed in the onslaught, most of them rebels because of the regime’s “aerial superiority,” a moniter group said.