Russia restarted air strikes on Aleppo

Russia restarted air strikes on AleppoRussian jets resumed heavy bombing of rebel-held eastern Aleppo on Tuesday after several days of relative calm, Reuters reported, citing a rebel official and the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group.

Air strikes mostly hit the Bustan al-Qasr neighborhood, Zakaria Malhifji of the Aleppo-based Fastaqim rebel group told Reuters.

"There is renewed bombardment and it is heavy," he said.

The Observatory said the death toll from bombing in Bustan al-Qasr, Fardous and other neighborhoods rose to at least 25, with scores of wounded.

At least 50 civilians were killed by strikes on the rebel-held part of the city and nearby villages controlled by insurgents, residents and rescue workers said. In Bustan al-Qasr the strikes hit a medical center and a children's playground.

The Syrian army, backed by Iranian-backed militias, also said it had consolidated its control of the al Jandoul traffic circle at a major road intersection on the northern outskirts of Aleppo.

Moscow and Damascus reduced air raids in the northern city last week. The Syrian army said that was partly to allow civilians to leave opposition-held eastern neighborhoods.

The Syrian government said rebels holed up in Aleppo can leave with their families if they lay down their arms. Insurgents denounced that offer as a deception.

President Bashar al-Assad seeks the complete recapture of Aleppo, Syria's biggest city before the 5 1/2-year war, which has been divided between government and opposition control for years.

Assad's Russian allies have meanwhile built up its forces in Syria after a brief ceasefire collapsed last month.

In another case in the southern city of Deraa, which is split between government and rebel control, insurgent shelling of a school killed at least five people, including children, on Tuesday, the Observatory and state media reported.

Rebels denied they fired at the school. Residents reported the same death toll.

Near the Turkish border, rebels backed by Turkey and a U.S.-led coalition closed in on the Islamic State-held village of Dabiq, the site of an apocalyptic prophesy central to the militant group's ideology.
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