Aleppo civilians struggle with hunger

ALEPPO, Syria: Amid a fierce bombing campaign by the Syrian regime and Russian allies, only three bakeries are left to serve 300,000 civilians in the opposition-held eastern neighborhoods in Syria's northeastern Aleppo city.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Muhammed Mesleti, a member of Aleppo's pro-opposition local council, said civilians in the city's eastern neighborhoods have been struggling with hunger.

The bakeries lack flour and operate every other day until midnight due to the bombardment, Mesleti said.

Regime forces have tightened up its siege and attacks on opposition-held areas in eastern Aleppo in an effort to retake Aleppo and advance to Idlib, the opposition's last stronghold.

Located 40 kilometers far from the Turkish border, Aleppo is Syria's second largest city that used to be home to around three million people, mainly Arabs including 400,000 Turkmens and 200,000 Kurds.

A year after the outbreak of the Syrian revolution in 2011, opposition forces took control of the city's eastern districts.

In 2013, the Assad regime began a campaign of indiscriminate bombardment on the city that has triggered a humanitarian crisis in the war-battered city.

Last year's Russian military intervention in Syria alongside the Assad regime has escalated the humanitarian situation in the city.

In February, the Assad regime and Iran-backed Shia militias cut the Castello road that was the opposition's only way-out from eastern Aleppo to Idlib city and the Turkish border.

Though the opposition managed to open an alternative road to Idlib in August, it failed to maintain it.

Aleppo's opposition-held eastern neighborhoods have groaned under a regime-imposed siege for more than 90 days, according to a recent joint statement issued by Aleppo's pro-opposition health directorate and city council, along with activists and local civil defense officials.

More than 508 civilians have been killed and 1,871 others injured in regime attacks on eastern Aleppo since mid-November.

In the last 10 days, all hospitals and medical facilities stopped operating because of the attacks while schools were disrupted.

Reporting by Selen Temizer, Mohamad Misto, Levent Tok and Halit Suleyman ; Writing by Mahmoud Barakat;

Source: Anadolu Agency