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US accuses Syria of backing Daesh’s Aleppo advance

Daesh attacks aim to cut rebel groups’ supply route near the Turkish border

Image Credit: AFP
TOPSHOTSSyrian rescue workers and citizens carry a child on a stretcher from a building following a reported barrel bomb attack by Syrian government forces at the Al-Firdaws neighbourhood of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, on May 30, 2015. Barrel bombs dropped from regime helicopters killing more than 70 civilians in Aleppo, while government forces in neighbouring Iraq retook an area west of the jihadist-controlled city of Ramadi. AFP PHOTO / KARAM AL-MASRI
Gulf News

Beirut: The United States has accused the Syrian military of carrying out air strikes to help Daesh terrorists advance around the northern city of Aleppo, messages posted on the US Embassy Syria official Twitter feed said.

Daesh terrorists pushed back rival insurgents north of Aleppo on Sunday near the Turkish border, threatening their supply route to the city, rebels and a group monitoring the war said.

Fighters from Levant Front, a northern alliance which includes Western-backed rebels and Islamist fighters, said they were worried Daesh was heading for the Bab Al Salam crossing between Aleppo and the Turkish province of Kilis.

“Reports indicate that the regime is making air strikes in support of Daesh’s advance on Aleppo, aiding extremists against Syrian population,” a post on the US Embassy Syria Twitter account said late on Monday.

Syrian officials have previously dismissed as nonsense allegations by Washington and Syrian opposition activists that the Syrian military has helped Daesh’s fight against rival Syrian insurgent forces.

“The Syrian army is fighting Daesh in all areas where it is present in Syria,” a military source said.

The United States suspended operations in its embassy in Damascus in 2012 but still publishes messages on the embassy Twitter feed.

The account said Syrian President Bashar Al Assad had long lost legitimacy and “will never be an effective counterterrorism partner.”

Al Assad and Syrian officials have frequently called for international cooperation to fight rebels in Syria. Damascus has described all insurgents fighting against it as foreign-backed “terrorist organisations.” State news agency SANA said on Tuesday the military had “eliminated” a number of Daesh terroristsin the Aleppo countryside and that air strikes had destroyed some of the group’s vehicles.

But the US Twitter feed said Damascus had a hand in promoting Daesh, a terrorist group which has seized land in Syria and Iraq.

“With these latest reports, (the military) is not only avoiding Daesh lines, but, actively seeking to bolster their position,” it said. Syria has accused its regional enemies of backing hardline insurgent groups.

The Syrian military has carried out recent air bombardments in the province, including inside Aleppo city and on the Daesh-held town of al-Bab to the northeast, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group.

Some rebels have questioned why US-led forces bombing Daesh in Syria and Iraq have not focused on bombing the terrorists around Aleppo city.

In rebel-held Aleppo, a local council that helps run civilian affairs called on its fighters to be ready for battle with Daesh, the Observatory said on Tuesday, citing a statement.

It called on “all mujahideen” to respond to Daesh terrorists which it said were receiving “air cover from the regime.”

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