Fresh raids in Syria’s Aleppo despite bids to halt fighting

Latest Update: May 2, 2016 | 135 Views
Aleppo raids

ALEPPO: Fresh air strikes pounded Syria’s Aleppo city early Monday, an AFP correspondent said, as US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Geneva in a bid to halt the mounting carnage.

More than a week of fighting in and around Syria’s second city has killed hundreds of civilians.

Air strikes on rebel-held east Aleppo hit in the early hours of Monday, AFP’s correspondent there said, with no immediate reports of casualties.

Several neighbourhoods, including the heavily populated Bustan al-Qasr district, were hit. It was not clear if Monday’s raids on the rebel area were conducted by Syrian or Russian jets.

Rebel shelling onto government-controlled western areas of Aleppo city late Sunday killed three civilians including a child, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Growing violence in and around Aleppo has left more than 250 civilians dead and threatened both a UN-backed peace process and a fragile ceasefire deal.

Kerry landed in Geneva on Sunday for talks with Arab ministers and UN peace envoy Staffan de Mistura in an urgent push to end the bloodshed.

“We are talking directly to the Russians, even now,” Kerry said, after a week in which Moscow refused US calls to rein in its ally, Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad.

Aleppo was initially left out of a deal to “reinforce” a February 27 truce between the government and non-jihadist rebels.

The freeze in fighting, announced on Friday, applied to battlefronts in the coastal province of Latakia and Eastern Ghouta, near Damascus.

The head of Moscow’s coordination centre in Syria said on Sunday that talks to include Aleppo had begun.

“Currently active negotiations are underway to establish a ‘regime of silence’ in Aleppo province,” Lieutenant General Sergei Kuralenko told Russian news agencies.

More than 270,000 people have been killed since Syria’s conflict erupted in March 2011 with protests demanding Assad’s ouster.



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