France has announced it will ask the international criminal court to investigate possible war crimes committed in Syria's Aleppo.

Russian-backed Syria forces have made significant advances in its renewed two-week-old offensive in Aleppo, seizing territory to the north and pushing back the front line in the city centre.

"We do not agree with what Russia is doing, bombarding Aleppo. France is committed as never before to saving the population of Aleppo," Jean-Marc Ayrault, the French foreign minister, told France's Inter radio on Monday. 

He saId President Francois Hollande will take into account the situation in Aleppo when deciding whether to see his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin when the latter visits Paris on October 19.

"If the president decides [to see Putin], this will not be to trade pleasantries," Ayrault said.

Since the Syrian government launched a military offensive on September 22, a few days after a joint US-Russia-brokered ceasefire collapsed, at least 290 people - mostly civilians - have been killed in rebel-held areas, 57 of them children, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) monitoring group.

Another 50 civilians, including nine children, have been killed in rebel shelling in government-held areas of the city, according to the SOHR, which relies on a network of sources on the ground.

On Saturday Russia vetoed a French-drafted resolution that would have demanded an immediate end to air strikes and military flights over Syria's second largest city, and for a truce along with humanitarian aid access throughout the country.

A rival Russia-backed resolution also failed to pass.

 

Source: Al Jazeera News And Agencies