Syria war: Casualties mount in air strikes on Aleppo

Government steps up assault on rebel-held areas of key northern city, dropping hundreds of bombs from the air.

    Story highlights

    • Regime steps up air strikes on rebel-held areas in Aleppo
    • Daraya suffering compounded as aid is restricted
    • Government air strikes hit Idlib city

    Warning: The above video contains images that some viewers may find distressing

    Covered in his own blood, his hands mangled, Ahmed Jamili begged the doctors not to cut up his clothes.

    The child, 9, was just one of the victims as the Syrian government pounded rebel strongholds, reportedly with hundreds of air strikes.

    Aleppo: New aerial bombing hits medical facility

    "My dad only bought them [the clothes] yesterday," Ahmed sobbed. "Please don't cut my clothes."

    He had been playing outside in the rebel-held district of al-Sakhour in Aleppo when government war planes dropped their bombs.

    His two brothers were killed. A building close by collapsed entirely.

    At first people were not sure whether anyone was alive, until they heard a child crying.

    Rescuers squeezed into a narrow opening in the rubble scrambling to clear the way, before they pulled out a young girl.

    Several minutes passed before a second little girl was brought out, somehow unhurt.

    Activists said that in 48 hours, Syrian and Russian forces launched more than 100 air strikes on rebel-held areas of Aleppo city, and across the province. 

    Civil Defence volunteers, also known as the White Helmets, said more than 700 bombs, including barrel bombs and cluster bombs, were dropped in and around Aleppo city.

    The Civil Defence said at least 17 people were killed while 73 others were injured, among them women and children.

    The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Monday that at least 35 people were killed, including seven children, in air strikes on Aleppo.

    READ MORE: Russia's draft constitution - End of Syria's Baath era?

    The bombardment is part of a concerted government assault on some of the last major rebel strongholds: Aleppo, Homs and Daraya, a Damascus suburb.

    Aid groups said suffering in Daraya is compounded by the refusal of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces to let aid convoys into the city.

    The United Nations said it may not be able to go ahead with planned aid drops, saying it would be too dangerous without the Syrian government's cooperation.

    Elsewhere in Syria, areas near the National Hospital in Idlib city were targeted by at least seven government air strikes, the Observatory reported late on Monday.

    No death toll has been recorded, but the Civil Defence said the number of casualties could be high.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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