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Regime gives Aleppo rebels 48-hours to leave 'or die'

A regime advance this week cut off Aleppo's eastern districts for the second time [Twitter]

Date of publication: 9 September, 2016

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"You have 48 hours to leave the city or die," a Syrian regime ultimatum contained in airdropped leaflets has told opposition fighters in besieged eastern Aleppo, home to 250,000 civilians.

The Syrian regime has dropped leaflets on besieged rebel-held east Aleppo warning opposition fighters that they have 48 hours to leave or else they will be killed.

Local activists reported on Wednesday that regime helicopters dropped the propaganda leaflets over the past two days on the battlefront city's rebel-held east, which was once again besieged by regime forces on Sunday.

"Read and decide!!! To anyone bearing arms against the state in Aleppo!! Aleppo city has been completely encircled," the leaflet read.

"We have left you one safe exit, this is your last hope. If you fail to leave the city within two days you will be eliminated."

Pro-regime forces overran the strategically important district of al-Ramusseh on the outskirts of the city on Thursday, sealing off desperate residents in opposition-held neighbourhoods.

Media Activist Milad Shahabi said that the leaflets would fail to have an effect on the resolve of rebel fighters.

"These leaflets are part of the psychological war tactics the regime has used against besieged civilians," Shahabi told ARA News.

     
      [Click to enlarge]

"I don't think residents of Aleppo or opposition fighters will respond to the regime's threats… the talk about a safe exit that will be opened by the regime is merely deception."

Syria's government forces first encircled eastern Aleppo in mid-July, sealing off the northern route used by the estimated 250,000 residents of the opposition-held neighbourhoods.

A major rebel push in early August successfully opened an alternate route via the southern district of Ramusseh, but regime loyalists retook it earlier this week.

The renewed siege has brought an even deeper sense of despair to residents of eastern Aleppo, regularly bombarded by President Bashar al-Assad's forces.

This month after four years under regime siege, the towns of Daraya and Moadamiyeh near Damascus agreed to "local truces" with regime forces that saw thousands bused out of their hometowns.

According to the UN, nearly 600,000 people across Syria are living under siege, mostly encircled by regime forces though anti-government forces also use the brutal tactic.

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