Friday, 09 December 2016 16:36

Dozens of Civilians Killed in Aleppo Despite Russia’s Claims of a Pause

Activists said that at least 60 people were killed across Syria on Thursday in bombardment by the Assad regime and Russian air forces on Syrian towns and cities. Over 47 were killed in Aleppo and its countryside.

Aerial and artillery bombardment by the Russian and Assad regime forces continued on eastern Aleppo until Friday despite Russia’s announcement of a suspension of military operations in the city on Thursday, activists said. Several people were killed when a barrel bomb hit residential buildings in the neighborhood of Maghaiyer in eastern Aleppo, while regime forces pounded the neighborhoods of Firdous, Kallasah, and Sukkari with heavy artillery.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Thursday said that “Syrian Armed Forces have suspended combat operations in eastern Aleppo to enable withdrawal of a column of civilians from the city.”

"Combat actions of the Syrian Army in eastern Aleppo are suspended today, as a yet another and the biggest one so far operation to evacuate the civilians willing to leave the place is underway there," Lavrov said at a press conference in Hamburg.

However, no fewer than 140 airstrikes and barrel bombs hit eastern Aleppo and its countryside on Thursday, killing and injuring dozens. Regime forces also pounded eastern Aleppo with over 1,300 heavy and medium artillery shells.

Regime forces and Iranian-backed foreign militias have launched a large-scale ground attack since November 15 to retake eastern Aleppo backed by close aerial support from Russian air force. Over 1,100 civilians have so far been killed and thousands more injured as a result of the ongoing onslaught, which has also forced thousands of families out of their homes. Nearly 250,000 civilians currently trapped in eastern Aleppo are threatened with extermination and mass forced displacement.

Local activists said that two people were killed and dozens more injured when regime helicopters dropped a barrel bomb filled with the toxic chlorine gas on the neighborhood of Maghaiyer. A similar attack also took place in the Kallasa district on Thursday, resulting in dozens of asphyxiation cases among civilians. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Office)

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