Fighting has resumed in the Syrian city of Aleppo, a day after the end of a 72-hour "humanitarian" cease-fire that had been declared by Damascus and its main ally, Russia.
The armed Syrian opposition needs to behave adequately for the return of a humanitarian pause on the ground, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister said.
In photos and videos posted online, residents of the eastern half of Aleppo were seen using the pause from weeks of intense bombardment and airstrikes to protest the Assad regime and declare they wouldn't leave their homes.
Before the humanitarian pause, Russian and Syrian government warplanes had been targeting homes, hospitals, and infrastructure in eastern Aleppo. The opposition-held districts of the Syrian city have been surrounded and under siege for months.
Meanwhile, rebel factions said they were preparing an offensive to break the siege themselves and allow food and fuel to reach almost 300,000 people blockaded inside the eastern neighborhoods.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in an interview aired Saturday that the intervention was meant to "liberate" Syria and keep Assad in power. Air raids also hit north of Aleppo and deeper into west Aleppo countryside, the Observatory said.
Ryabkov also stressed, "Our opponents must ensure appropriate behavior by the anti-government groups that in particular sabotaged the medical evacuation that was intended during the humanitarian pause" in order for the truce to be extended again. "They say, 'It's ours, not Syria's.' Look, this is being revealed every day".
It said at least three people were wounded in artillery fire on the east, while rebels fired a barrage of rockets and mortar rounds into a government-held neighbourhood.
As Washington Post reports, the US President Administration doesn't exclude the possibility of sending more firepower to CIA-backed Syrian rebels but only if Moscow breaks the talks and peace can not be reached diplomatically.
The fighting around Aleppo ran in parallel with renewed clashes further away from the city between Turkish-backed opposition forces and Syrian Kurdish forces over territory formerly held by the Islamic State group.
A spokesman for the Nour el-Din al-Zinki rebel faction clarified rebels would not target civilians in Aleppo's government-held districts, but warned of collateral damage from an expected offensive to break the government's siege of the rebel-held eastern quarters.
A previous cease-fire brokered by USA and Russia collapsed on September 19 and since then the Syrian regime backed by Russian airstrikes has launched an offensive to retake the entire city of Aleppo.
The SANA news agency said on Monday that the government troops took the hilltop of Bazo on the southern edge of Aleppo, near military bases.
Fighting remained largely deadlocked on most of the recently opened fronts in Aleppo on Monday, rebels and an activist told Syria Direct. The Turkish government considers both to be terrorist groups.