The Russian air force has intensified its raids on neighbourhoods in eastern Aleppo after attacks carried out by the Syrian regime’s forces aimed at recapturing southern neighbourhoods in besieged eastern Aleppo failed. Opposition forces also recaptured most of the sites that the regime advanced on and the attacks suggest that the Syrian regime and Russia are attempting “to put pressure on the civilian population to get out of Aleppo” according to what an opposition source told Asharq Al-Awsat.
Russian jets renewed heavy air strikes yesterday after five days of relative calm during which the number of air strikes fell to a low level. At least 12 civilians were killed in the escalation that coincides with diplomatic efforts to resolve the conflict coming to a standstill. Activists said that Russian warplanes targeted the Fardous neighbourhood, central Aleppo that is controlled by the opposition.
The opposition source in Aleppo said that the regime’s forces “are compensating for their inability to advance on the ground with aerial bombardment”.
A correspondent for AFP said that raids on residential neighbourhoods in the eastern part of the city took place at around noon and that they specifically targeted the neighbourhoods of Al-Qaterji, Al-Maysir, Qadi Askary and Bustan Al-Qasr. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that “12 civilians, including at least four children were killed during intense Russian raids on the neighbourhoods of Bustan Al-Qasr and Fardous”, and that many people were still trapped under the rubble. According to the director of the Observatory Rami Abdul Rahman, “Russian raids today are the heaviest on residential neighbourhoods since about a week”.
Air strikes carried out by Russia and the regime on the northern countryside of Latakia have stopped. Russian warplanes had previously stepped up raids on opposition sites in Jabal Al-Akrad which is situated in the northern countryside of Latakia. The Syrian regime’s forces recaptured all sites that opposition factions advanced on during the battle of Ashura on Monday night. The battle was launched in order to recapture areas that it lost in the area during the past year.