Syria Army Breaks Year-Old Aleppo Prison Siege

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية W460

Syria's army broke a siege of Aleppo prison Thursday, cutting off a major rebel supply route, as Damascus allies China and Russia vetoed a bid to refer Syria to the International Criminal Court. 

The Western-proposed U.N. Security Council resolution, which would have covered war crimes committed by all sides in the civil war, comes less than a fortnight before President Bashar Assad's expected re-election.

Tanks and armored vehicles rolled into the grounds of the prison in the main northern city of Aleppo, more than a year into a rebel siege of the sprawling complex, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The development puts the army and its allies, including Lebanon's Hizbullah, within reach of Castelo Road, which rebels in Aleppo have relied on as a supply route leading to a countryside rear base.

An army spokesman told state television this "tightens the noose around the terrorists' positions in the eastern and northern edges of Aleppo, and cuts off the roads (they) were using to move from the northern countryside towards the city."

The regime refers to the rebels as "terrorists."

The advance into the area around the prison was preceded by an aerial assault Thursday with highly destructive shrapnel-packed barrel bombs, said the Observatory.

Rebel fighters have repeatedly attacked the prison since April 2013, hoping to free approximately 3,500 detainees, who are reportedly being held in dire conditions.

Troops inside the prison have fought to defend it.

The prison had nearly 4,000 inmates before the siege, including Islamists. Poor humanitarian conditions, including a lack of food and medicines, and the bombardment have caused the death of some 600 prisoners, according to the Observatory.

State television showed footage shot inside the prison, and a reporter interviewed both security forces and prisoners, including women.

The latest success comes on the heels of another significant victory for the regime, which this month reclaimed the Old City of Homs, Syria's third city once dubbed the "capital of the revolution."

The conflict flared when Assad's opponents took up arms in response to a bloody crackdown on a popular uprising in March 2011. It is estimated to have claimed at least 162,000 lives and displaced nearly half the population.

Millions of people are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance.

Despite the war, the Damascus regime is to stage a presidential election on June 3 in the areas under its control.

The exiled opposition has dismissed the election as a "farce," while the United States has branded it a "parody of democracy."

Assad, running for a third seven-year term against two virtual unknowns, is expected to stroll to victory in the poll, despite a raging war consuming the country.

In the eastern province of Deir Ezzor, 26 jihadists and rebels fighting the radical Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) were killed, as the extremist group pressed its advance on the Iraqi border and took over an oil rig in al-Kharita.

Meanwhile, key Assad allies Russia and China vetoed a draft U.N. resolution that would have referred Syria to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to examine chemical attacks, systematic torture, barrel bombings and blocked aid access.

This was the fourth time both countries have blocked Western resolutions relating to the conflict.

The 13 other members of the Security Council all voted in favor of the proposed resolution, which would have seen crimes committed by all sides in the country's war examined.

U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power told the council that, as a result of the vetoes, "the Syrian people will not see justice today."

Amnesty International reacted by saying the vetoes are a "callous political move that betrays suffering people in Syria."

Syria is not a signatory to the International Criminal Court so only the Security Council can decide whether to refer war crimes or crimes against humanity on its territory to the court.

Human Rights Watch also condemned the veto as a betrayal to the victims of Syria's war, branding it a "disgrace."

Comments 13
Default-user-icon Hanoun (Guest) 22 May 2014, 12:08

hope they free the 2 archbishop and catch ther kidnappers and their funders

Thumb cedre 22 May 2014, 12:48

nusra funded by GCC ??? LOL
Feel free to prove it...

@ ariel : mastic this zionist picture fits u well, the jewish-farsi alliance against islam...

Default-user-icon Hanoun (Guest) 22 May 2014, 12:56

hope they liberate the 2 kidnapped archbishops and kill their abductors and catch the funders

Missing lebcan 22 May 2014, 12:57

GCC funded Nusra?
Iran funded Hyzbshytan

Eye for eye you know ;)

Missing lebcan 22 May 2014, 12:58

FT = Iranian

Thumb EagleDawn 22 May 2014, 13:46

southern is conversing with the zionist apartheid enemy....LOL

Thumb Mystic 22 May 2014, 15:02

Great job Syrian Army, the 2 year siege has now been broken.

Thumb Mystic 22 May 2014, 15:21

lebcan, only a salafi would say something like that. That's what amuses me, you all act like you are patriots you and cedre, but in reality all you want is a salafi khalifah with all minorities dead. Just admit it atleast, so people don't get confused.

Thumb Mystic 22 May 2014, 15:40

So the Takfiris were eager, to free their criminal brothers from this prison. That would be the same as if, the same takfiris in Lebanon tried to break into Roumieh prison. They failed, and they will continue to fail.

Thumb Mystic 22 May 2014, 16:03

ghadanfar in case you didn't know, the Shah has been gone since 1979, when the great people of Iran kicked him and the rest of the American cowards out, they have a new flag, not the Shah flag.

Thumb Mystic 22 May 2014, 16:12

John there is no such thing as FSA. They were all takfiris to begin with.

Thumb Mystic 22 May 2014, 16:46

Yes i remember that. Didn't work out for him now did it?

Default-user-icon Tuquimio Gulladja (Guest) 22 May 2014, 16:48

Nevertheless, as gabby14 continues to hallucinate a-la-Dr. Arreet 7akeh, the "ASSad" regime will fall, la ma7ala. When the Doc of bull and the Bull S... artist gabbaguybo talk you can bet your life that what they say is... well... umm... duh... nothing but a big load of bull and a reflection of their bull-filled taseh