Fresh air strikes batter Syria after truce expires

At least 20 government strikes hit Damascus suburbs as UN Security Council calls meeting to discuss escalating violence.

Aftermath of air strikes in the Deir al-Asafir district
People inspect damaged buildings targeted by air strikes in Deir al-Asafir district, in the Damascus suburbs [Mohammed Badra/EPA]

At least 20 Syrian government air strikes have peppered the Damascus suburbs after a temporary truce agreement expired, a monitoring group said.

Diplomatic efforts continue to pause fighting in Syria

The strikes targeted areas in Eastern and Western Ghouta after the deal expired at midnight, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on Wednesday.

The monitor also reported fighting between rebels and government forces in Deir al-Asafir, an area targeted by the strikes in Eastern Ghouta.

Separately, the UN Security Council scheduled a meeting on escalating violence in the city of Aleppo in response to an urgent request from the UK and France.

READ MORE: Aleppo bleeds amid truce efforts

“Aleppo is burning … and its civilians are being killed,” Matthew Rycroft, Britain’s ambassador to the UN, told the Security Council after members adopted a resolution demanding an end to attacks on hospitals and medical workers in Syria and other warzones.

French ambassador François Delattre said the city had “been under constant bombardment since 2012” and described it as the “martyred centre of the resistance” to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Jan Egeland, chairman of the UN task force on humanitarian access in Syria, said during a press conference on Wednesday that the fighting in Aleppo is creating new areas for endless suffering with new possible besieged areas where hundreds of relief workers are unable to move.

“We do not need declarations, we need an end to the bombardment and an end to the fighting,” Egeland said.

At least three people were killed in a rebel rocket attack on a hospital there on Tuesday, the observatory said, in shelling that killed at least 19 people in government-controlled parts of the city.

Rebels and government forces have been battling each other with rockets and bombs across Aleppo. More than 250 people have been killed – mostly by government air strikes – in less than two weeks.

Staffan de Mistura, the UN special envoy, recently estimated that 400,000 people have been killed in a five-year conflict that has driven millions of people from the country.

People inspect the damage at a site hit by airstrikes, in the rebel-held area of Aleppo''s Bustan al-Qasr
People inspect the damage at a site hit by airstrikes, in the rebel-held area of Aleppo”s Bustan al-Qasr, Syria April 28, 2016. REUTERS/Abdalrhman Ismail
Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies