Syria conflict: All sides seek to blame each other for breakdown of ceasefire

Parts of Aleppo are under constant bombardment, activists claim

The attack on the aid convoy has been widely condemned
The attack on the aid convoy has been widely condemned

Rebel fighters and Kurdish groups blamed each other, the Russians and the regime for the breakdown of the recently-arranged ceasefire in Syria by Washington and Moscow.

An aid convoy going to a rural area near Aleppo was attacked and several warehouses were also destroyed in the town of Uram al-Kubra after Bashar al-Assad’s regime declared that the truce had failed because the rebels had used the ceasefire to launch an offensive.

Syrian activists across the border in Turkey told The Independent that parts of Aleppo had been almost constant bombardment overnight from both regime and also, they claimed, Russian warplanes.

Kurdish groups maintained that Jabhat al-Nusra, which recently changed its name to Jabhat Fatah al-Sham and claimed to have ended its links with al-Qaeda had attacked both the south-west and north of the city and one of its targets appeared to be Kurdish neighbourhood of Sheikh Maqsood. The Islamist rebels are also said to have captured part of the strategic Castello highway forcing back regime forces.

The versions of what had taken place could not be immediately verified. Speaking at the Turkish town of Gaziantep, Alcan, a Kurdish activist, said “ Both sides are blaming each other for breaking the deal. But we hear that there was a Jabhat push towards Sheikh Maqsood, they got very closed, but were then stopped. The bombing of the convoy was a separate incident inn a separate area. My friends and I are not supporting Assad, but we are very worried about the Salafists.”

Eighteen out of the 31 trucks trying to get into the town of Uram al-Kubra with food and medicine for its 80.000 cut off residents were said to have been destroyed in the attack.

Russia and Syria deny responsibility for aid convoy strike

Jan Egeland, humanitarian coordinator in the office of the UN envoy for Syria said it was “outrageous that the convoy was hit while offloading at warehouses.” UN humanitarian chief Stephen O’Brien called on “all parties to the conflict to take all necessary measures to protect humanitarian actors, civilians, and civilian infrastructure as required by international humanitarian law.”

Mr O’Brien, the UN’s emergency relief coordinator, said the convoy had been clearly marked and its route had been provided to all parties in the conflict.

“Let me be clear: if this callous attack is found to be a deliberate targeting of humanitarians, it would amount to a war crime,” he added.

The US said that, regardless of whether Russian planes were involved in the convoy attack - something Russia has denied - it blamed Moscow for the attack because it was responsible under the ceasefire agreement for reining in Bashar al-Assad’s government forces. State department spokesman John Kirby said in a statement: “The destination of this convoy was known to the Syrian regime and the Russian federation and yet these aid workers were killed in their attempt to provide relief to the Syrian people.

“The United States will raise this issue directly with Russia. Given the egregious violation of the cessation of hostilities we will reassess the future prospects for cooperation with Russia.”Foreign ministers in the International Syria Support Group were due to meet on Tuesday before the start of the UN general assembly debate. US officials said the Secretary of State, John Kerry would meet his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, to try and save the ceasefire.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in