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Monday, September 26, 2016, 10:36

US, Russia trade blows as warplanes pound Aleppo

By Reuters
US, Russia trade blows as warplanes pound Aleppo
In this photo provided by the Syrian Civil Defense group known as the White Helmets, shows Syrian inspect damaged buildings afte r airstrikes hit in Aleppo, Syria, Sept 24, 2016. (Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets via AP)

"The Assad regime and with direct participation of its ally Russia and Iranian militias has escalated its criminal and vicious attack on our people in Aleppo employing a scorched earth policy to destroy the city and uproot its people," a statement signed by 30 mainstream rebel groups said on Sunday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring group, said at least 45 people, among them 10 children, were killed in eastern Aleppo on Saturday.

The army says it is targeting only militants.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the civil war and 11 million driven from their homes.


Russia and the United States agreed on Sept. 9 a deal to put the peace process back on track. It included a nationwide truce and improved humanitarian aid access but it collapsed when an aid convoy was bombed killing some 20 people.

UN Syria mediator Staffan de Mistura appealed to the Council meeting to come up with a way to enforce a ceasefire.

"I am still convinced that we can turn the course of events," he said, adding that he would not quit trying to bring peace in Syria.

China's UN envoy Liu Jieyi repeated a call for all sides to work harder to help find a political solution but also said counter-terrorism was a "very important component" to a resolution, state news agency Xinhua said.

"The Syrian conflict has led to the rise and spread of terrorism; without rooting out terrorism, there will be no peace for the Syrian people, and there will be no security for regional countries," Liu said.

The rebels said they could not accept Russia as a sponsor of any new peace initiative "because it was a partner with the regime in its crimes against our people".

UN investigators are looking into the alleged use of the incendiary weapons phosphorus and napalm in several cities.

On a positive note, a set of four towns, two besieged by government forces and two by rebels, were reached by aid convoys for the first time in nearly six months on Sunday, the International Committee for the Red Cross announced.

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