Dozens of Civilians Killed as Fighting Rages in Aleppo, Syria


Fighting in Aleppo, Syria, killed dozens of civilians over the weekend, a high toll even for a city that has been the scene of intense fighting recently, a monitoring group said on Sunday.

Government and Russian airstrikes and artillery bombardment of opposition neighborhoods and the outskirts of the city on Saturday killed 46 civilians, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring group based in Britain, and another nine were killed by opposition shelling in government-held areas of western Aleppo.

Another 20 people were killed in rural villages in nearby Idlib Province after a series of 26 airstrikes on Saturday, the group said. Activists and journalists in Idlib also confirmed the airstrikes.

The fighting has intensified in Aleppo after the rebels managed a week ago to break a government siege of their positions in the city, Syria’s largest, which has been divided between government and opposition forces for four years. The siege had set off a humanitarian crisis there.

Over the past two weeks, the civilian death toll in Aleppo Province has risen to at least 327, a third of the victims women and children, according to the observatory’s figures. Of those, 233 civilians were killed in the city of Aleppo, 102 of them in opposition areas and 126 in government areas. The observatory did not clarify where the remaining five civilians had died.

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SOURCE: NY Times, Hwaida Saad and Rod Nordland