According to a report in the Times this morning citing Syrian opposition sources, the Assad regime has used “mass-killing thermobaric weapons” on civilians in Aleppo, in northern Syria.
Thermobaric bombs are lethal weapons that explode above a target area with a massive blast and suck air in, causing suffocation to those in its range. Commanders of the Free Syria Army (FSA), mentioned in the Times report, said that the heavy shelling over the Aleppo suburb of Salaheddin included the use of such weapons.
“We have staged a tactical withdrawal. The district is completely empty of rebel fighters. Regime forces are now advancing into Salaheddin,” said Hossam Abu Mohammed. “The fighters are withdrawing to [nearby] Sukari district, where they are preparing a counter-attack,” he told AFP by telephone.
Both rebel forces and human rights groups reported that warplanes and tanks had attacked towns north of Aleppo. FAS officials said that THE Syrian president’s forces were trying to cut the main rebel supply route into the city.
Syrian state television said that the regime forces had “cleansed” Salaheddin of terrorists.
Meanwhile, in other Syria related news, veteran Algerian diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi is expected to be named to replace Kofi Annan as the UN-Arab League joint special envoy for Syria barring a last-minute change, diplomats said on Thursday.