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Assad air strikes kill at least 80 civilians including children in Syria's Aleppo

COMPILED FROM WIRE SERVICES
BEIRUT
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Intense bombardment by the Assad regime and its ally Russia killed over 80 civilians including three children in the battleground city of Aleppo on Friday, a monitor said.

"At least 27 civilians, including three children, were killed and dozens more wounded by raids by Russian aircraft and regime helicopters on several opposition districts of Aleppo," said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Ibrahim al-Hajj, a volunteer with the group, said residents of the opposition-held side, which is under siege, could not flee and people were largely cowering inside their homes.

"Nothing about what the regime said about corridors is real, nothing. How can we move on the streets if we don't feel safe. If it was real I would leave now," says Mustafa, a 48-year-old man who lives with his two elderly parents, his wife and daughter.

"They want only a humanitarian corridor to get out of Aleppo, they do not want anything else. They want a road to leave Aleppo," says al-Hajj. "People are waiting on God's mercy. No one is leaving his house."

Video images filmed by residents showed a young girl screaming as rescuers frantically dug her out of rubble, pulling her out alive. Another showed rescuers digging out a toddler with their bare hands, shouting "God is Great" as they lifted him from the debris. The boy showed no signs of life as he was rushed off in a rescuer's arms.

The airstrikes include the use of incendiary bombs and cluster munitions, according to residents, who blame forces loyal to the Assad regime and the Russians, for the aerial attacks.

"We feel the earth trembling and shaking under our feet. Aleppo is burning," activist Bahaa al Halabi told dpa from the besieged opposition-held districts.

"People are not safe anymore, even in shelters," resident Yassin Abu Raed said. Other residents also said the latest raids were destroying underground shelters people had built.

Water stations have been badly damaged and humanitarian aid has not reached the opposition-held district in many weeks. One resident said people were eating mostly rice and lentils, which had been stockpiled, noting that there were few vegetables left.

"I am now going to eat my last potato," Rami, an Aleppo resident, said.
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