Russian Jets Pound Eastern Aleppo as Syria’s Army Consolidates Gains

Observatory Reports At Least 25 People Killed

by Jason Ditz, October 11, 2016

After a few days of relative calm, the battle over the northern Syrian city of Aleppo has picked up anew, with the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reporting heavy Russian airstrikes against the eastern half of the city, held by the Nusra Front.

The observatory reported that the bombing had killed at least 25 people over several neighborhoods, while locals claimed at least 50 killed, all civilians. Large numbers are also believed to be wounded, though exact figures are unclear.

At the same time, the Syrian Army is reporting that it has consolidated gains north of the city, further establishing control over a key intersection on the city’s northern outskirts, and controlling a main route through which they intend civilians to flee the east.

Aleppo was, before the civil war, Syria’s industrial and financial capital. Years of fighting over the city has left it heavily damaged and badly divided,. meaning that while everyone initially saw control of the city as the key to winning the war, it’s unclear how valuable it will be if any faction ends up with full control of it in the near term.

The resumption of airstrikes around Aleppo is likely to add to the chorus of US officials calling for war with Russia to keep the al-Qaeda-linked rebels from losing, with officials harping on about this even after the airstrikes had stopped.

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