Assad regime’s official said on Saturday its belief in victory was “even greater” because the army was progressing in the war against “terrorism”, as hundreds of unarmed civilians were dead since last week in this war.
Assad regime said on Thursday it was starting a new wide offensive to recapture the rebel-held parts of Aleppo after a week-long ceasefire was decalred officially over on Monday. the offensive includes a ground assault, artillery bombardment, and intensive airstrikes.
Since last monday, at least 180 people have been killed in rebel-held areas of Aleppo province, including the besieged eastern part of the city, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Saturday.
The assault on Aleppo, where more than 250,000 civilians are trapped in a besieged opposition sector, could be the biggest battle yet during the sic-year crisis.
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem was speaking at the annual U.N. gathering of world leaders, after the Syrian army and allied militia seized ground north of Aleppo on Saturday, tightening a siege of the city’s rebel-held east.
“Our belief in victory is even greater now that the Syrian Arab Army is making great strides in its war against terrorism, with the support of the true friends of the Syrian people, notably the Russian Federation, Iran and the Lebanese national resistance,” Moualem told the 193-member General Assembly.
In a statement on its official website, the Syrian defence ministry called on Aleppo residents to move to regime-held areas, adding that there would be “no detention, or inquiry to any citizen” who reached the checkpoints that divide the city.
An army source said on Friday that the offensive would be “comprehensive”, with a ground assault following air and artillery bombardment. “With respect to the air or artillery strikes, they may continue for some time,” he said.
“Since the announcement two days ago by the Syrian Army of an offensive to capture eastern Aleppo, there have been repeated reports of air strikes involving the use of incendiary weapons and advanced munitions such as bunker buster bombs,” U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement on Saturday.
“The secretary-general considers this a dark day for the global commitment to protect civilians,” he said.
No Siege or Suffer caused by the regime in Syria
The Syrian foreign minister said “Western governments continued to accuse the Syrian military of resorting to siege and starvation as a tactic of war, but at the same time supported militants to use people most affected by the conflict as human shields.”
Moualem said “Syria would spare no effort to put an end to the sufferings of Syrians and give them back their dignity. He also stated that the country faced a tough task of coping with systematic destruction by foreign-backed militants.”
Moualem reiterated his government’s commitment to moving forward with the UN-led peace process, saying, however, that “the complicity of the US and its allies with the ISIS terrorists and other militants was a major obstacle to honor pledges on the cessation of hostilities.”
He said Israel was intervening militarily and directly in Syria to assist terrorists operating in the Golan Heights.
“We hope that the UN could regain the trust of the people through upholding its Charter, which guarantees the protection of the country’s sovereignty,” Moualem stated.
The Syrian crisis began as a peaceful demonstration against the injustice in Syria. Assad regime used to fire power and violence against the civilians and led to armed resistance. 450.000 Syrians lost their lives in the past five years according to UN estimates, and more than 12 million have lost their homes.