Battle for Aleppo: Civilian casualties mount
Nov.21, Aleppo: A barrel bomb killed a family of six in rebel-held eastern Aleppo early on Sunday and rebel shelling took the lives of eight children at a school in the west, as one of the heaviest government bombardments of Syria's civil war continues.
Two medics said the al-Baytounji family suffocated to death because the barrel bomb, which fell in the Sakhour district at about midnight, had been laced with chlorine gas.
The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the war through a network of informants, confirmed the bombing but could not confirm that chlorine gas was used.
Damascus has denied use of the gas, which would contravene the international Chemical Weapons Convention.
Rebel shelling killed at least eight children, aged six to 12 years, among 10 deaths in the Saria Hasoun school in al-Farqan district, the Syrian Observatory and Syrian state television reported.
Syria: 'All Aleppo hospitals destroyed'
Hundreds of people have been killed since Tuesday as the government and its allies attempt to quash resistance in Aleppo's rebel-held eastern zone.
The UN's Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura warned Sunday time was "running out" for eastern Aleppo as he expressed international outrage over the bombing campaign.
Syria's military and Russia's air force had paused their bombardment of eastern Aleppo, except for on the frontlines, for two weeks after a month-long offensive from late September to late October, but recommenced strikes on Tuesday.
The plight of civilians in eastern Aleppo was underscored on Saturday when the World Health Organisation reported that bombing had put all the hospitals in the besieged district out of operation. An official with a rebel group based in east Aleppo said there were still no working hospitals there on Sunday.
The army and its allies began ground attacks on Friday and the Observatory reported intense clashes in Sheikh Saeed in southeast Aleppo and in Baeedain and Bustan al-Basha in northeast Aleppo.
Top UN officials said Saturday they were "appalled" by escalating violence in Syria, and urged immediate access to Aleppo, where government forces are waging a ferocious assault to retake rebel-held districts.
"The United Nations is extremely saddened and appalled by the recent escalation in fighting in several parts of Syria and calls on all parties to cease indiscriminate attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure," the UN's humanitarian coordinator for Syria Ali al-Zaatari and regional humanitarian coordinator Kevin Kennedy said.
The Oslo Times International News Network