26 Civilians Killed in Shelling Amid East Aleppo Fighting

Unclear Who Shelled as Both Forces Contest Area

26 civilians were reported killed today when they were caught up in a shelling in the Jub al-Quba neighborhood in eastern Aleppo, a district which is facing intense fighting between the Syrian military and a collection of rebels dominated by the Nusra Front.

It is unclear which side fired the shells, as both sides have forces in the area, and are trying to get the upper-hand in the fighting. Most reports conceded they had no idea who fired the shots, but the White Helmets insisted that the government did it, that the toll was 45 killed, and that the majority of the slain were children and infants.

Over the weekend, Syrian forces took much of the city’s northeast, with the rebels describing the loss as the worst suffered in the city since 2012, when it first became contested. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports about 50,000 civilians displaced in the fighting.

The displacement may be beneficial for some, as reports suggested that many civilians who wanted to flee sieged rebel areas were being blocked from doing so by rebel firing. Only small numbers escaped during the past few weeks, but the new fighting appears to have opened the floodgate to get a meaningful number out of areas where supplies are virtually non-existent.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.