Heavy Fatalities in Syria as Militants Shell Aleppo

Heavy Fatalities in Syria as Militants Shell AleppoHeavy Fatalities in Syria as Militants Shell Aleppo

At least 38 people were killed in Aleppo on Tuesday when Syrian militants shelled three government-held neighborhoods in the west of the city. Among the dead were said to be 14 children.

“Rocket fire on government districts is still going on,” said Rami Abdel Rahman of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, giving a toll of at least 150 wounded in the districts of Salaheddine, al-Hamdaniya and New Aleppo.

While the west of the city is controlled by Syrian forces, militants in the east regularly fire rockets and makeshift missiles into the government-held parts of the city, DW reports.

Over three years, the east has been pounded by air raids and government shelling, with much of the population escaping to the countryside or other countries.

On Tuesday, the northeastern Syrian city of Hassakeh was hit by a third bomb attack in two days, with the official news agency SANA putting the death toll from the latest blast at seven. Islamic State claimed responsibility for all three attacks, with 32 people having been killed on Monday.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin defended his country’s military assistance to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government, saying that it was the only way to defeat IS.

“Without an active participation of the Syrian authorities and the military, it would be impossible to expel the terrorists from that country and the region as a whole, and to protect the multi-ethnic and multi-confessional Syrian people from destruction,” said Putin.

Putin has backed Assad throughout the four-and-a-half year war in Syria, claiming that the flow of refugees from the country would have been even greater without Moscow’s intervention.

According to the Pentagon, Russia is engaged in a military buildup at an airport in the coastal province of Latakia, indicating that Moscow wants to run air mission from there.

On Tuesday, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the United States would like Russia to engage constructively with the international coalition fighting IS in Syria, rather than build up its own military presence there.