A series of artillery rounds lobbed on Dec. 1 on Syria’s eastern Aleppo district killed 26 civilians, including seven children, as they fled a government ground offensive in the besieged enclave.
It was the second time the Jub al-Quba neighborhood, in the historic district of the rebel-held eastern side of the city, was struck in as many days.
An airstrike on Nov. 30 blamed by activists on the government killed 25 civilians in the same area. They were also believed to be newly displaced from the government onslaught on the northern parts of eastern Aleppo.
Meanwhile, eight civilians, including two children, were killed in shelling on the government-held western side of the city, according to state media. The government blamed rebels for the attack.
The embattled opposition fighters clashed heavily on the southern edge of the enclave with government-allied troops, who made new gains in the government offensive that has cleaved the rebel-held part of the city.
The Syrian government pushed its way into the 45-square kilometer (17 square miles) rebel-held enclave over the weekend, making its first territorial gain in the area seized by the opposition fighters since 2012.
Government officials say they want to “liberate” the area, calling the opposition fighters “terrorists”, and accusing them of holding civilians there hostage.
Tens of thousands of people have been displaced in Aleppo as pro-government Syrian forces press on with their campaign to reclaim the divided city.
The Observatory said more than 50,000 out of an estimated quarter-million inhabitants have been displaced by attacks on rebel-held eastern Aleppo over the past 4 days. Many of them fled to safer ground in areas under government or Kurdish control. The International Committee of the Red Cross says around 20,000 people have fled.