Rebel coalitions reject UN envoy ‘freeze’ proposal
February 16, 2015
THANKS, BUT NO THANKS: As rebels resist regime campaigns to take back the city of Aleppo, opposition groups resoundingly rejected UN Special Envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura’s plan for a “freeze” in the fighting around Aleppo.
“[De Mistura’s] statements not only ignore the massacres that have been committed, and continue to be committed, by the regime across Syria, but also ignore the latest crimes in Douma in the Damascus countryside, located only kilometers from the UN envoy’s residence in Damascus,” saidJabha a-Shamiyya in a statement Sunday.
The Revolutionary Command Center, another umbrella group of 72 rebel groups, also rejected de Mistura’s proposal over the weekend.
On Monday, Syrian warplanes launched air strikes against the village of Hayyan just north of Aleppo following Sunday’s attacks by the rebel group Feilaq a-Sham on the Shiite villages of Nubul and Zahra, northwest of Aleppo, reported the pro-opposition Aleppo Media Center.
The battlefront north of Aleppo has been a site of fierce contestation for the past several months as regime forces attempt to cut off the last rebel supply route into the city.
Aleppo rebels also targeted regime-controlled neighborhoods in the city with heavy mortar fire on Sunday, according to pictures published by the Aleppo Media Center.
The regime has escalated its aerial attacks on the rebel-controlled city of Douma and the rest of East Ghouta in the past three weeks, killing dozens of civilians.
Last week, de Mistura meet with President Bashar Assad in Damascus where the Syrian leader reaffirmed his belief in the promise of a “freeze” in the fighting, particularly around Aleppo city.
“President Assad is part of the solution,” de Mistura said in a press conference last Friday.