Assad unleashes intense attack on Aleppo with Russian jets in support
Bethan McKennan, Independent, Sep 23 2016
Jackass Kerry at the UNSC this week (Photo: Reuters)
Syrian government and Russian warplanes are targeting rebel strongholds in east Aleppo in the second day of intense bombing after the army announced a new campaign, rescue workers and activists on the ground have said. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights estimated 30 air strikes took place from midnight on Friday. Ammar al-Selmo, the head of the local civil defence rescue service, or White Helmets, said five jets he identified as Russian began a fresh wave of bombing at around 6 am. He told Reuters:
What’s happening now is annihilation. It’s as if the planes are trying to compensate for all the days they didn’t drop bombs.
Incendiary bombs are among the weapons that fell from the sky “like rain,” as several activists have described it, causing major fires. The White Helmets said several people had been confirmed dead at Aleppo’s hospitals, but there are no precise figures. SOHR said at least 14 have died so far. The rebel-run Aleppo Media Centre said 20 people have been killed, and the city’s main water pumping station has been destroyed. The decision came as Jackass Kerry and Sergei Lavrov emerged from what a UN mediator described as “long, painful, difficult and disappointing“ talks in New York on restoring the recent ceasefire. Russia and the US brokered a deal on September 9 which included a truce between the Syrian government and a coalition of rebel forces, aid deliveries for Aleppo, and possibly joint military action against Isis and al-Qaeda linked groups. The deal collapsed after a Pindo-led coalition air strike
accidentally hit a Syrian army base, and an aid convoy near Aleppo was attacked, killing 20 volunteers and Syrian Arab Red Crescent workers.