[QODLink]
Middle East

More barrel bombs hit Syria's Aleppo

Dozens killed in barrel-bomb strikes in rebel held Aleppo, activists say, as Assad visits Christian town to mark Easter.

Last updated: 20 Apr 2014 23:38
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
President Assad visited the Christian town of Maaloula, which his forces recaptured last week [Reuters]

Activists have claimed that Syrian warplanes have targeted the neighbourhood of al-Fardous in Aleppo city with barrel bombs, killing at least 40 people.

A video posted on Saturday to YouTube showed severe damage on buildings and the street, while firefighters extinguished the fire. The number of casualties remained unclear.

At least 10 people were also killed in another barrel bomb attack in the suburb of Biideen, activists claimed. Videos posted online showed buildings engulfed in fire creating large plumes of smoke rising over the city.

Barrel bombs are imprecise weapons, causing extensive damages and at least 1,000 people have been killed in such attacks since mid-December, activists say.

Al Jazeera cannot independently verify the authenticity of the activist videos.

Yarmouk access blocked

Meanwhile, the United Nations has warned that residents of the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus are in danger of starving to death.

Chris Gunness, the spokesman for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees said that they were not authorised to distribute food and have been unable to provide assistance inside the camp for over a week.

Former US Ambassador to Syria Richard Murphy, discusses the plight of Syrian refugees today.

"[The UNWRA] have had 12 members of staff killed, trying to deliver aid. So it's a very very dangerous situation. UNRWA is ready. We have food in our warehouse in Damascus, we can take it in, [but] what we need is security, substantial access, secure access," said Gunness.

State media reported on Sunday that President Bashar al-Assad visited the ancient Christian town of Maaloula, which his forces recaptured last week, to mark the Easter holiday.

John Yazigi, the Greek Orthodox Patriarch in Syria, said that Christians "will not submit and yield" to fighters who attack "our people and holy places". Christians represent about five percent of Syria's population.

The same day, French President Francois Hollande, told a local radio station that he has "several elements" suggesting the recent use of chemical weapons in Syria, but had no definitive proof.

Syria's bloody war is entering its fourth year, with no end in sight and a rising death toll. At least 150,000 people have been killed since the conflict began in March 2011 as largely peaceful protests against Assad's rule.

412

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeera’s new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Featured
Private citizens take initiative to help 'irregular' migrants, accusing governments of excessive focus on security.
Indonesia's cassava plantations are being killed by mealybugs, and thousands of wasps have been released to stop them.
Violence in Ain al-Arab has prompted many Kurdish Syrians to flee to Turkey, but others are returning to battle ISIL.
Unelected representatives quietly iron out logistics of massive TPP and TTIP deals among US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
Led by students concerned for their future with 'nothing to lose', it remains to be seen who will blink first.