200,000 Syrians Flee Aleppo, UN Reports
Khaled al-Ayoubi, the charge d’affaires, told officials he wasn’t willing to represent the regime to President Bashar Assad any longer, the news organizations reported.
Fighting continues in Aleppo, the country’s largest city with 3 million people. The United Nations told the AP that 200,000 Syrians have left over the past 10 days as the government uses mortars, tanks and helicopter gunships in the battle with rebels over control of the city.
Government forces resumed shelling of the neighborhood of Salahuddin on Monday, residents and opposition activists in Aleppo told The Wall Street Journal.
From The Wall Street Journal:
Over the weekend, government forces backed by tanks, artillery and helicopter gunships continued a counteroffensive to reclaim those neighborhoods but were repelled by rebels on several fronts in the city, residents said.
State media claimed Sunday that government forces succeeded in wresting control of Salahuddin from the rebels, but residents and activists denied this, saying the government forces were only on the edge of the neighborhood. Salahuddin is adjacent to al-Hamdaniyah, where the regime has amassed troops and tanks, including in and around a sports stadium.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on Syria Monday to halt its violent crackdown on the dissidents and rebels fighting to overthrow Assad's regime, the AP reported.
Ban said his peacekeeping chief, Herve Ladsous, recently visited Syria and asked the government to end its use of heavy weapons and demonstrate a commitment to end the armed violence.
"Government officials have repeatedly said they would honor these commitments," Ban said. "We are still waiting for them to act."
Ban also said that Syrian tanks attacked a convoy carrying the head of the U.N. observer mission.
“Yesterday, the convoy of Lt. Gen. Babacar Gaye was attacked by armed tanks. Fortunately, there were no injuries,” Ban told reporters.
Valerie Amos, the top U.N. official for humanitarian affairs, released a statement late Sunday, according to the AP.
“I am extremely concerned by the impact of shelling and use of tanks and other heavy weapons,” Amos wrote. “Many people have sought temporary shelter in schools and other public buildings in safer areas. They urgently need food, mattresses and blankets, hygiene supplies and drinking water.”
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