At least 7 civilians killed in Aleppo airstrikes

Damascus, Sep 23 (IANS) At least seven civilians were killed during overnight airstrikes, a monitoring group said on Friday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said the victims, killed in Aleppo, included two children, a woman and a young man from the same family, Efe news agency reported.

The monitoring group said the death toll could rise, as several others have been gravely injured in the attacks.

The origin of the warplanes that conducted the strikes is not known.

In an official statement quoted by a state news agency on Thursday, the Syrian army announced fresh aerial campaigns in Aleppo and asked civilians to avoid “terrorist positions”.

The Syrian army added that civilians who leave the rebel-held districts of Aleppo and head towards government-held checkpoints would not be arrested and would be considered as refugees.

Airstrikes carried out by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces with the backing of Russian fighter jets, are a part of the regime’s attempts to retake land held by armed opposition forces.

SOHR said the pro-Assad initiative to empty districts of civilians would clear the way for bombing campaigns which would prevent international accusations about the killing of innocent civilians.

The escalation in violence in Aleppo comes amid international attempts to salvage a United States-Russia brokered ceasefire that expired on Sunday.

–IANS

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