World, Middle East

Russian airstrikes kill 13 in Syria's war-weary Aleppo

Syrian regime – backed by Russian air power – continues to punish opposition-held parts of city

13.10.2016
Russian airstrikes kill 13 in Syria's war-weary Aleppo

By Halit Suleyman

ALEPPO, Syria

Thirteen people were killed and another 25 injured Thursday when Russian warplanes struck opposition-held areas of Syria’s northwestern city of Aleppo, according to a local civil defense official.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Najib al-Ansari, a pro-opposition civil defense official based in the city, said Russian jets had targeted Aleppo’s eastern Bustan al-Qasr and Al-Sakhour neighborhoods with vacuum bombs.

Civil defense teams rushed to stricken areas in hopes of rescuing people from under the rubble of collapsed buildings, while the injured were taken to nearby field hospitals, al-Ansari said, pointing out that the airstrikes were still ongoing.

On Wednesday, at least 94 civilians were killed by Russian and regime warplanes in opposition-held parts of the Aleppo, Idlib and Damascus provinces.

Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests -- which erupted as part of the "Arab Spring" uprisings -- with unexpected ferocity.

Since then, more than a quarter of a million people are believed to have been killed -- and more than 10 million displaced -- across the war-torn country, according to UN figures.

The Syrian Center for Policy Research, however, a Beirut-based NGO, has put the death toll from the five-year conflict at more than 470,000.

One year ago, the Russian military began extensive air operations in Syria with the stated aim of fighting terrorist groups based in the country and supporting the embattled Assad regime.

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