At least 15 people were killed today and 30 others wounded today as rebels fired mortar shells against the Malla Khan mosque, in a government-held neighborhood in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo. The attack hit just as Friday prayers concluded, and large numbers of worshipers were leaving.
This is the latest in a series of attacks around Aleppo, with the government and a rebel faction dominated by al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front trading fire. Over the past eight days, over 200 people have been killed, overwhelmingly civilians.
Aleppo has been contested for years. Once among the biggest cities in Syria, and the nation’s industrial and financial capital, at present only about 250,000 civilians remain, in districts separated by “no-go” areas and held by warring factions. Locals warn that there is a new exodus of refugees with this recent flare-up in the fighting.
In the same area, the shelling also hit Russia’s consulate in the city, with the Russian Foreign Ministry condemning the strike as a “terrorist attack.” There were no casualties reported at the consulate, with one mortar hitting the compound and three others landing outside the fence. Russia withdrew from the building in 2013.