Syria rebels 'in push to break Aleppo siege'

ALEPPO - Rebels in Syria have announced a big offensive aimed at breaking the government siege of east Aleppo.

A UK-based monitoring group said the rebels had fired "hundreds" of missiles into western Aleppo, killing at least 15 civilians.

They are also reported to have targeted al-Nayrab military airport to the east.

About 275,000 people have been besieged in the east by pro-government forces for several months.

Syria and its ally Russia have recently intensified air strikes on the east.

The attacks are so far coming from rebels outside Aleppo but it is understood that rebels inside the city will join the offensive.

"All the revolutionary factions, without exception, are participating in the battle," the military spokesman for the Fastaqim faction inside the city said, AP news agency reports.

They include Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, formerly the al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front, as well as fellow Islamists Ahrar al-Sham.

Rebels fired Grad missiles at al-Nayrab, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) monitoring group said. Up to 115 people were killed or wounded, it added.

They also detonated two car bombs against government positions to the south-west of the city. One was a tank driven by a French suicide bomber from Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, a spokesman for the group said.

The area around the Hmeimim air base near the coastal city of Latakia - the main airport used by the Russian air force - was also reportedly targeted, the SOHR said.

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