A fresh wave of airstrikes heaped more despair on the besieged city of Aleppo overnight before tentative moves towards peace resume this weekend. Dozens of bombs rained down on eastern Aleppo, while fighting between rebel and government forces raged on the northern and southern edges of the city. The airstrikes killed and wounded a number of people, with some buried under the debris, activists and monitors said. It continued a week-long pounding of the city by Russian and Syrian warplanes, which have already killed more than 150 civilians.
The civil defence team hasn't slept in four days because of the bombardment on the eastern neighbourhoods. Even our machines are exhaustedIbrahim Abu al-Leith, spokesman for the White Helmets rescue force in Aleppo
As the bombing continues, U.S. secretary of state John Kerry and Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, along with representatives from some Middle Eastern nations, are due to meet in Switzerland on Saturday. Further talks are planned between Mr Kerry and European allies in London on Sunday. Meanwhile, Syrian president Bashar al Assad has described the conflict as a new war between East and West. He said: "What we've been seeing recently during the last few weeks, and maybe few months, is something like more than Cold War." It came as Russian president Valdimir Putin ratified a deal with the Syrian government allowing Moscow to use the Hmeimim air base in Syria to launch airstrikes indefinitely.
You have to keep cleaning this area and to push the terrorists to Turkey to go back to where they come from, or to kill them. There’s no other option. But Aleppo is going to be a very important springboard to do this move.Bashar al Assad