Air strikes target Syria’s Aleppo after truce expires

Syrian regime warplanes aided by Russian jets bomb several rebel-held areas in northern Aleppo province.

People inspect the damage at a site hit by airstrikes, in the rebel-held area of Aleppo''s Bustan al-Qasr
Nearly 300 people have been killed in the recent upsurge of violence [Abdalrhman Ismail/Reuters]

Syrian and Russian air strikes have targeted rebel-held areas in Aleppo province, killing and injuring several people, as rebels captured a village in Homs province, monitoring group says.

The regime warplanes aided by Russian fighters targeted several neighbourhoods in Aleppo city, sources told Al Jazeera on Thursday. No information on casualties was available, but sources said several people were killed and injured.

Aleppo onslaught: New ceasefire announced

Warplanes targeted al-Zahraa and al-Maysar shortly after the truce ended at midnight on Wednesday, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Thursday.

In Saif al-Dawla, a government-held part of Aleppo, at least three people were killed while 10 others were injured in a rocket attack on Thursday morning, the Observatory reported, adding that the source of the attack is still unknown.

Last Monday, government forces and rebels in Aleppo agreed to extend their truce for a second time, according to the Syrian army.

The cessation of hostilities was initially to last for two days but was later extended until Tuesday at 00:01 am (21:01 GMT Monday).

Announcing a further extension, the army command said: “The ‘regime of silence’ in Aleppo and its province has been extended by 48 hours from Tuesday 01:00 am [local time] to midnight on Wednesday.”

A tenuous ceasefire has been in place since February brokered by Russia and the United States, but Damascus has continued to bomb rebel-controlled areas in Aleppo. Nearly 300 people have been killed in the recent upsurge of violence.

IN PICTURES: Death rains down on Syria as ceasefire wobbles

Once Syria’s commercial heartland, Aleppo is now divided between the government-held west and the rebel-controlled east.

Elsewhere in Syria, rebel fighters captured al-Zara village in Homs province, which is about 35km north of the city of Homs, and reportedly abducted civilians in the village, Reuters news agency reported.

Meanwhile, an aid convoy was refused entry to a besieged Syrian town on Thursday, the Red Cross and UN said, blocking what would have been the first supplies to its residents for more than three years.

The organisations said their joint delivery was stopped at the last government checkpoint on the way into Daraya, on the outskirts of Damascus. The town is held by rebels and besieged by government forces.

“Despite having obtained prior clearance by all parties that it could proceed”, the convoy was not allowed through, a statement from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and UN said.

Inside Story – Are Syria warring sides serious on political process?

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies