PHOTO: Russia warplanes have carried out thousands of attacks since September 30 across Syria
- Claim: Aid Worker Handed Over by Kurdish Militia to Assad Regime
- Aid Delivered to Northwest Damascus Suburb That Accepted “Reconciliation”
- Video: Kafranbel Protest Calls for End to Rebel In-Fighting
UPDATE 1145 GMT: A series of explosions have struck the regime areas of Jableh and Tartous in western Syria.
Car bombings are suspected, with five blasts in Jableh and four in Tartous. The attacks were coordinated, and some were near Russian forces stationed in Latakia Province.
The Latakia News Agency says at least 90 people have been killed and 170 wounded in Jableh, and 36 killed and 55 wounded in Tartous. Through its Amaq news agency, the Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attacks.
ORIGINAL ENTRY: Russia tried to cut off the main route into opposition-held districts of Syria’s largest city Aleppo on Sunday, with airstrikes on the al-Castello road.
A rebel official said the road was still open but dangerous.
Russian and regime warplanes have bombed the route for months, and it has also been attacked by the Kurdish militia YPG in clashes with rebels since February, with snipers firing at traffic and civilians.
Ground assaults, led by the Assad regime’s foreign allies, have failed to take over the area near the road, including the village of Handarat.
With the breakdown across Syria of a February 27 “cessation of hostilities”, brokered by Moscow and Washington, Russia has resumed its bombing in and near Aleppo city. Russian and regime attacks have killed hundreds of civilians and damaged hospitals, mosques, bakeries, schools, and a water treatment plant.
Russia’s Defense Ministry put out the pretext on Sunday that the jihadists of Jabhat al-Nusra, which is not covered by the cessation of hostilities, were firing missiles from the al-Castello road at nearby areas.
Civilians were also killed yesterday by regime airstrikes on neighboring opposition-held Idlib Province, including Idlib city.
Rebels to Kurds: Stop Cutting Off Fuel into Northwest
Aleppo’s rebels also demanded on Sunday that the Kurdish militia YPG stop its blockade of oil into opposition areas of northwest Syria.
The Fatah Halab operations room said it would target Kurdish checkpoints if trucks were not allowed ot transport fuel. The rebels offered to form a monitoring committee with the YPG to ensure the flow of traffic.
The Central Court in oppositon-controlled Azaz, near the Turkish border, said an agreement had been reached with Kurdish officials to lift the blockade; however, the YPG failed to recognize it.
The YPG has cut off oil, coming from areas controlled by the Islamic State, which is traded for food from opposition territory. Hundreds of trucks have reportedly been parked, waiting for permission to move.
Kurdish groups reportedly reached a deal over the weekend to allow fuel to be moved into the Kurdish-controlled Afrin canton, bypassing opposition areas.
48-Hour Warning from Rebels Near Damascus
Near Damascus, 39 Free Syrian Army units warned that the cessation of hostilities will be terminated unless the Syrian military ends its aerial and ground attacks within 48 hours.
The Syrian army and Hezbollah have been pursuing offensives both in East Ghouta, to the east of the capital, and in West Ghouta to the southwest.
Last week the pro-Assad forces took almost all of the southern part of East Ghouta, taking advantage of the redeployment of all Hezbollah forces into southern Syria and of defenses weakened by rebel in-fighting.
Rebels said that they repelled the latest attacks on the besieged town of Darayya, southwest of Damascus, on Sunday. They claimed that areas lost to the pro-Assad forces during the day were reclaimed last night.
The Syrian military and its allies have tried for days to enter Darayya, besieged since November 2012, after preventing UN aid from reaching the town.
The FSA statement said that the ceasefire would be “totally collapsed” if the assault did not end in two days. Rebels would then respond with “all the legitimate means to defend the civilians living in these areas”.
It indicated that rebel counter-attacks would be carried out not only near the capital but also on fronts near Aleppo and in Hama Province.
The opposition Syrian National Coalition has supported the FSA “without reservation”.
Claim: Aid Worker Handed Over by Kurdish Militia to Assad Regime
Activists claim that the Kurdish YPG militia have seized an aid worker and handed him over to the Assad regime.
The aid worker was reportedly delivering medicine through the Kurdish canton of Afrin in northwest Syria. He subsequently appeared on State TV, “confessing” to terrorism:
Aid Delivered to Northwest Damascus Suburb That Accepted “Reconciliation”
The northwest Damascus suburb of Qudsaya, which has accepted “reconciliation” with the Assad regime, received a large aid shipment on Sunday.
The Syrian Arab Red Crescent and UN delivered aid in 52 trucks. The shipment included medicine, nutritional supplements, school supplies, and food parcels.
In contast, nearby al-Hameh received aid from only two trucks.
Syrian regime forces allowed bread to enter the blockaded southwest Damascus town of Moadimiyet a-Sham on Saturday following a five-month shortage, a member of the town’s media office told Syria Direct on Sunday.
The town of Moadamiyah, besieged since late 2012, was finally permitted an aid delivery on Sunday.
About 3,500 bundles of bread were distributed, with 8,800 families each receiving four loaves.
A local media activist said 11 people had recently died of malnutrition in the suburb, southwest of Damascus. More than 100 people perished of starvation in late 2013 and early 2014 in the town, where is still home to about 44,000 people.
Muhammad Nour said the bread arrived after “long negotiations”. The talks “had essentially stopped”, but “after the UN announced its intention to airdrop aid, the negotiations were revived”.
Video: Kafranbel Protest Calls for End to Rebel In-Fighting
A demonstration in Kafranbel in northwest Syria calls on rebels to stop in-fighting, releasing detainees, and to stay out of issue of civil society:
Rebel interference in governance and judicial matters has caused tension, while in-fighting in opposition-held areas, especially near Damascus, has enabled pro-Assad forces to advance.
The jihadists of Jabhat al-Nusra are also accused of continued abductions of opposition leaders. Protesters with photos of seven of the kidnapped men: