The Assad regime and Russian forces have intensified attacks on rebel-held areas, launching a fierce aerial bombardment on the besieged eastern Aleppo, Idlib and Homs as well as carrying out missile strikes from a Russian aircraft carrier stationed off the Syrian coast.
Activists in besieged eastern Aleppo said that warplanes have not left the skies of the city since Tuesday morning, adding that civilian homes have been shaking as a result of relentless constant bombing. The ongoing airstrikes have left eight people, including a woman and a child, killed and dozens more wounded. The bombing has been concentrated on the neighborhoods of Masaqin Hanano, Saliheen, and Alfirdous.
The activists said that regime helicopters on Monday dropped leaflets on the eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo vowing to relentlessly bomb the city should civilians refuse to evacuate the embattled city in a maximum period of 24 hours. The Assad regime has sent similar threats before.
In Homs, meanwhile, at least nine civilians were killed and 15 others wounded, some in a critical condition, in shelling by regime forces on the besieged district of Waer on Tuesday. Regime forces also shelled the only remaining medical center in the district, putting it out of service. Two other hospitals, Alwalid and Albir, were knocked out in earlier attacks by regime forces.
The Russian defense minister, Sergei Shoigu, said Russia has launched missile strikes on Idlib province, using missiles and jets flying from the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier which has recently arrived off the Syrian coast, adding that the attacks will continue.
US State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau strongly condemned Russia’s resumption of air strikes in Syria on Tuesday and said it believed the targeting of hospitals and civilians in cities like Aleppo was a violation of international law.
“We strongly condemn the resumption of air strikes in Syria by the Russians as well as the Syrian regime,” Trudeau told reporters at a State Department briefing. “The most recent reported attacks were on five hospitals and one mobile clinic in Syria. We believe it’s a violation of international law.”
Trudeau said Russia has allowed no food or other aid into east Aleppo during its suspension of bombing. “It let eastern Aleppo residents starve while seeking praise from the international community for halting indiscriminate strikes for three weeks,” she said.
Britain’s envoy to Syria Gareth Bayley said on Tuesday that the indiscriminate bombardment of northern Syria by the Russian and Assad regime forces must stop, describing the barrel bombing of eastern Aleppo as a “vile” act. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Office)