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>> After a weekend of government air strikes in Aleppo, Syrian rebel fighters are launching a major assault to break through a strip of government controlled territory. The goal to reopen key supply lines which feed rebel areas. Aleppo was once Syria’s biggest city. Now the main stage of a five year conflict between President Bashar Al-Assad's forces aided by Russia, and a patched group of rebel militia trying to break through government controlled territory.
A quarter of a million civilians still live in Aleppo's rebel-held areas, which are effectively under siege. With roads cutoff by the army, come mid-August food supplies are expected to run out.
st 40 kilometers from the city, the remains of a Russian military helicopter shot down with five people on board.
Russia says, they had been delivering humanitarian aid to Aleppo. President Assad and Russia had declared a joint operation to get civilians out of rebel occupied areas. More than 150 have already left but the UN has raised concern over the plan with the US suggesting it might be an attempt to empty the city, so the army can retake it.