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Rebel Drive To Break Aleppo Siege Slows

A rebel fighter gestures while riding a military vehicle is western Aleppo. (file photo)

A rebel assault to break the siege of Aleppo has slowed amid fierce resistance from regime forces.

The U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which tracks the conflict, said on October 31 that after three days of the rebel’s drive "the regime has been taking the initiative and the clashes are less intense."

The U.K.-based monitor also said regime and Russian air strikes were hitting the battlefronts on the city's western edges, but with less intensity than in previous days.

Rebels launched a major assault on October 28, backed by car bombs and salvos of rockets, to break through government lines.

The observatory said 61 regime fighters and allied militiamen were killed in the assault since October 28, as well as 72 Syrian rebels.

And the monitor said nearly four days of heavy rebel rocket fire have killed 51 civilians including 18 children

The rebel drive combines an effort by insurgents in eastern Aleppo to push back regime forces while, concurrently, opposition factions have amassed on Aleppo's western outskirts in a bid to end the regime's three-month encirclement of the city's eastern districts.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP