Syria warplanes bomb Aleppo for fifth day

Thursday’s raids are considered a continuation of series of aerial attacks on the city

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Syrian warplanes pounded the northern Aleppo province for a fifth consecutive day on Thursday targeting its rebel-held villages, activists reported.

At least 10 people were killed in the latest attacks, among them are four women and two children, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

“After four days of helicopters dropping barrel bombs on Aleppo city, the regime changed the direction of its raids and struck the village of Tal Alam near Sfeira” southeast of Syria's second city, the Aleppo Media Centre said on Facebook.

Another activist network in the province, Shahba Press, reported air raids on Daret Ezza, Marea, Minbej and Anadan north of Aleppo city.

The villages targeted have been rebel-held for more than a year and have suffered frequent bombing.

But activists called Thursday's raids an extension of a deadly five-day aerial campaign against the provincial capital itself.

Thursday’s raids are considered a continuation of series of aerial attacks on the city, activistst said.

The Observatory reported the attacks, adding that the Aleppo area of Sheikh Najjar was hit with makeshift barrel bombs which are packed with TNT and are highly destructive.

On Thursday alone, at least 10 others were killed in Minbej and Daret Ezza, said the Britain-based group.

The five-day aerial campaign on Aleppo has killed more than 189 people by Wednesday evening, according to Doctors Without Borders (MSF).

Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman said in statements carried by Agence France-Presse it would be difficult, “if not impossible”, for the regime's military to advance on opposition areas of Aleppo.

“But I think it is trying to make the population turn against the rebels, so that the people themselves expel the fighters,” he said.

One Syrian security source has denied that barrel bombs have been used against what the regime calls “terrorists,” but another said the military prefers such weapons over missiles because they are cheaper.

Aleppo has been locked in a stalemate for more than a year, since a massive rebel advance on the provincial capital in July 2012.

Parts of the city have remained squarely under regime control ever since, while others have been in opposition hands.

Fighting between rebels and forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, including paramilitaries and officers from Lebanon's Hezbollah, also raged on the ground in Aleppo city, the Observatory said.

Syria's war is estimated to have killed more than 126,000 people in 33 months, and forced millions more to flee their homes.

(With AFP)

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