Air strikes pounded neighborhoods around a children’s hospital and a blood bank in rebel-held eastern Aleppo on Wednesday, Nov. 16, in a second day of renewed bombing that has killed at least 32 people, a war monitor, medics and emergency workers said.
The air raids formed part of a wider military escalation by the Syrian government and allies including Russia, which fired coordinated volleys of missiles at rebels on Tuesday and for the first time used its only aircraft carrier.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, said the air strikes on eastern Aleppo on Wednesday alone killed at least 21 people, including five children and an emergency worker. They were carried out by either Russian or Syrian warplanes, it said.
The Observatory said districts struck included al-Shaar, al-Sukkari, al-Sakhour and Karam al-Beik.
Air raids also continued in the countryside west of Aleppo from which rebels have launched assaults on government-held areas. An attack on the village of Batbo killed at least 19 people including three children, the Observatory said.
Moscow has denied reports that its jets have hit Aleppo in the renewed wave of bombardment, and said it was sticking to a moratorium on air strikes in the city.
Tuesday’s bombing run on eastern Aleppo appeared to mark the end of a pause inside the city declared by Russia on Oct. 18 which Syria’s military had also largely observed.
Aleppo has become the pivotal front in Syria’s 5-1/2-year war pitting President Bashar al-Assad, supported by Russia, Iran and Shi’ite Muslim militias, against mostly Sunni Muslim rebels including groups backed by Turkey, the United States and Gulf monarchies.
Aleppo has for years been divided between the government-held western sector and rebel-held east, which the Syrian army and its allies besieged during the summer. Its allied forces include Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Iraqi Shi’ite militias. (Reuters)