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Syrian Army announces new offensive on rebel-held Aleppo

| Updated: Sep 23, 2016 14:37 IST

New York [US], Sept. 23 (ANI): The Syrian army has announced a major new offensive on rebel-held eastern Aleppo after international powers with a stake in country's civil war failed to revive a collapsed ceasefire during diplomatic talks in New York. The offensive was announced as the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, met his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, and other foreign ministers on the margins of a United Nations summit in New York. Kerry declared "we cannot continue on the same path any longer" but said he had given Russia another chance to come up with "immediate and significant steps" to stop violence, including the end of Russian and Syrian government bombing of opposition areas. The announcement was made by the Syrian army. "The high command announces the start of operations in the east of Aleppo and calls for brothers and citizens to stay away from areas where terrorists are operating, " the Guardian quoted the statement of the army declaring the offensive as saying. The statement also called for civilians to head to Syrian regime checkpoints "to be escorted to safety". The Syrian air force, since Monday has stepped up its bombing of rebel-held areas, and both Russia and Syria have been implicated in the attack on the relief convoy which has been deemed a potential war crime by the UN. However, Syrian president Bashar al-Assad denied that his government was responsible for the repeated bombing on hospitals. Meanwhile, both Kerry and Lavrov intend to meet again today to discuss a cessation of hostilities in Syria. Kerry had yesterday at a press briefing said that the US has exchanged ideas with the Russia and plan to consult them with respect to those ideas. (ANI)