Air offensive against rebel-held Aleppo shows no signs of letting up

Fresh airstrikes took place overnight in eastern Aleppo, activists said Monday, causing more fatalities as the Syrian government offensive to retake the rebel-held part of the city showed no signs of relenting.

The government's airstrikes have been strongly condemned by Western nations who have also been sharply critical of Russia, the main backer of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Moscow carries out its own aerial raids to back pro-government forces.

Yassen Abu Raed, an activist in eastern Aleppo, said at least 10 people, among them children, have been killed in the morning raids.

More than 237 people, including at least 38 children, have been killed in the week since a US-Russia brokered ceasefire collapsed and the Syrian government and its allies, including Moscow, restarted heavy airstrikes, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

"The raids are targeting every single neighbourhood in eastern Aleppo on Monday," activist Bahaa al Halabi told dpa. "The situation is catastrophic," he said.

The raids appear aimed at weakening the rebels' positions and allowing the pro-government forces to eventually stage a full-on ground assault on the eastern areas.

Last week, the government announced the start of a ground offensive, but it has got off to a shaky start, amid resistance by the armed opposition.

Eastern Aleppo has been under siege since July and residents report declining supplies of basic goods, including food and medicine. Water supplies have also been badly damaged.

The high number of causalities, including many hundreds of injured people, have strained already depleted hospitals and makeshift medical centres, many of which have been bombed during the war.

Last update: Mon, 26/09/2016 - 12:31

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