Russia launches heavy air strikes on Syria's Aleppo
A Syrian boy receives oxygen from civil defence volunteers after being pulled out of rubble of a building,following Russian air strikes on the rebel-held Fardous neighbourhood of the northern embattled Syrian city of Aleppo on Tuesday. Photograph: (AFP)
Russia launched its heaviest strikes in days on Syria’s Aleppo on Tuesday,as a fire started by rebels killed at least five schoolchildren in the war-torn country’s south.
The raids killed 25 civilians, a monitor said and caused massive destruction is several residential areas of Aleppo, AFP reported.
Syria’s army announced a bid last month to re-capture the city, which has been divided since mid-2012, with rebels holding the eastern sector.
The assault began after the collapse of a short-lived truce brokered by US and Russia,and has seen the besieged east of the city come under fierce aerial assault.
The army said last Wednesday it would reduce its bombardment, after days of attacks that killed hundreds and destroyed the largest remaining hospital in the east.
But according to AFP and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights renewed heavy bombing were reported on Tuesday.
"This is the heaviest Russian bombardment since the Syrian regime announced it would reduce the bombardment" last week, said the monitor's head Rami Abdel Rahman, AFP reported.
The 25 dead, among them four children, were killed in raids in east Aleppo including in the districts of Bustan al-Qasr and Fardos, the Observatory told AFP.
A Footage by the Aleppo Media Centre activist group showed a toddler, blood smeared across her face, lying on a hospital bed.
An elderly man near her wailed in pain as a team of medics bent over him, calling out instructions to the nurses, AFP reported.
Backed by Russian air raids, government forces have been advancing street by street into rebel-held parts of Aleppo.
More than 300 people, mostly civilians, have been killed by government or Russian fire since the operation began, the Observatory told AFP.
Rebel forces were also firing on western government-held districts of Aleppo on Tuesday. The state news agency, SANA reported four dead and 14 wounded in rebel bombing of Hamdaniyeh district.
SANA also reported an unidentified number of injuries in a mortar shell attack near the famous Umayyad mosque in the Old City of Damascus.
(WION with inputs from AFP