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Saudi, Turkish commanders ordered Aleppo attacks: Syrian minister

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Syrian security forces evacuate medical staff after rockets fired by militants hit al-Dabbeet hospital in the government-controlled neighborhood of Muhafaza in the northwestern city of Aleppo on May 3, 2016. (AFP)

The Syrian information minister says Turkey and Saudi Arabia are to blame for the recent spike in terrorist attacks in the country’s northwestern province of Aleppo.

"Turkish and Saudi commanders have issued the order for targeting Syrian civilians and government troops in Aleppo," Omran al-Zoubi was quoted by Arabic-language media sources as saying on Wednesday.

Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi 

Zoubi made the remarks after around 15 people were killed as foreign-backed militants shelled two mosques, a hospital and several neighborhoods in Aleppo which has been divided between government forces and foreign-backed militants since 2012, a year after the conflict broke out in Syria. 

On Tuesday, another 19 people were killed and 80 more injured as militants targeted the province.

Zoubi also said that around 6,000 terrorists had entered Syria over the last few days.

Meanwhile, the United Nations special envoy for Syria underlined the need for a faltering ceasefire in the country to be “brought back on track” amid the recent surge of violence.

"We need to make sure the cessation of hostilities is brought back on track," Staffan de Mistura said during a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow.

The truce, brokered by Russia and the United States, went into effect in late February in a bid to facilitate negotiations between the warring sides to the conflict.

Syrian emergency personnel secure a street after rockets fired by rebels hit al-Dabbeet hospital in the government-controlled neighborhood of Muhafaza in the northwestern city of Aleppo on May 3, 2016. (AFP)

However, the escalation of attacks by foreign-backed militants in recent weeks has left the ceasefire in tatters and torpedoed the peace talks.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. De Mistura estimates that over 400,000 people have been killed in the conflict, which has also displaced over half of the Arab country's pre-war population of about 23 million.

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