13 Civilians Killed in Aerial Attacks on Aleppo

Thirteen civilians, among them seven children, were killed in aerial attacks by Syria's government Wednesday on the northern province of Aleppo, a monitoring group told AFP.

"A woman and her three children, as well as another child, were killed when helicopters dropped a barrel bomb on the village of Taduf," said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Taduf, which lies in the northeast of Syria's Aleppo province, is controlled by the Islamic State (ISIS) group.

In the province's west, "eight civilians, including three children, were killed when regime warplanes struck the village of Daret Izza," held by Islamist fighters and other rebels.

"Regime forces are continuing to kill civilians through aerial attacks, with barrel bombs or shells, indifferent to the international resolutions on this matter," said Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman.

He said the attacks amounted to "war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by regime forces on a daily basis."

Abdel Rahman told AFP the bombing campaign was an effort by the regime "to turn civilians against the opposition factions or against ISIS, with the reasoning that the aerial attacks are a result of the presence of fighters inside their towns and villages."

The regime has stepped up air attacks in Aleppo province in recent days, killing at least 57 civilians when it dropped "container bombs" on the ISIS-held town of Al-Bab at the weekend.

Also Wednesday, 22 ISIS fighters were killed when regime warplanes struck a convoy traveling between the provinces of Deir Ezzor in the east and Hasakeh in the northeast.

According to the Observatory, the jihadists were all Syrians from Deir Ezzor.

Control of the city of Aleppo has been divided between government and rebel forces since shortly after fighting began there in mid-2012.

The regime largely controls the west of the city, with rebels from different factions present in the east. Earlier this month, a new Islamist rebel alliance, including Al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate the Al-Nusra Front, launched a fierce battle to seize government-held areas of Aleppo.

Regime forces regularly bombard the eastern side of Aleppo from the air, dropping crude barrel bombs that rights groups say are indiscriminate and can kill dozens of civilians at a time.

President Bashar Al-Assad, however, has repeatedly denied using barrel bombs and has suggested in interviews that no such weaponry exists.

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/198200

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