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Syrian rebels caution civilians in Aleppo about offensive

A leading northern Syrian rebel coalition is warning civilians in Aleppo to stay away from government positions ahead of an expected offensive on the contested city.

The statement from the Aleppo Conquest rebel command, issued early Sunday morning, coincided with renewed clashes between rebel and pro-government forces along the city's fronts.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported air raids and fighting along the city's southern neighborhoods and its historic central districts, after a cease-fire to allow rebels to evacuate the city's eastern quarters expired Saturday night.

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.