The Syrian Rebel held areas of Aleppo are now subjected to renewed regime bombing campaign as talks in New York to save last week’s ceasefire collapse.
The Syrian government and Russian warplanes targeted rebel strongholds in east Aleppo in the second day of intense bombing after the army announced a new campaign to rescue workers and activists on the ground.
The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) estimated at least 30 air strikes that took place on Friday midnight.
Ammar al-Selmo, the head of the local civil defence rescue service, or the White Helmets, said five jets he identified as Russian began a fresh wave of bombing at around 6am.
“What’s happening now is total annihilation,” he told Reuters. “It’s as if the planes are trying to compensate for all the days they didn’t drop bombs during the ceasefire.”
Incendiary bombs are among the weapons that fell from the sky “like rain,” as several activists have described it, causing major fires. The White Helmets said several people had been confirmed dead at Aleppo’s hospitals, but there are no precise figures. SOHR said at least 14 have died so far.
The rebel-run Aleppo Media Centre confired or alleged that 20 people have been killed, and the city’s main water pumping station has been destoyed.
The Syrian military has announced a new operation against rebels in east Aleppo, where 250,000 civilians live under siege conditions.
Decision was made in New York by the US Secretary of State John Kerry alongside his Russian counterparts Sergey Lavrov in what a UN mediator described as “long, painful, difficult and disappointing“ talks about restoring the recent cease fire.
Russia and US reached a deal on September 9 which about a truce between the Syrian government and an organization of rebel forces, aid deliveries for Aleppo, and possibly joint military action against Isis and al-Qaeda linked groups.
The deal collapsed after an organization led air strike accidentally hit a Syrian army base near Isis territory, and an aid convoy near Aleppo was attacked, killing 20 volunteers and Syrian Arab Red Crescent workers.