At least 99 Syrians have been killed across the eastern half of the city Aleppo over the past two days, in what activists and residents believe was Russian and Syrian air bombardment of their rebel-held neighbourhoods.
According to rescue groups, Russian raids killed at least 13 civilians and wounded 25 on Thursday morning across several areas including Bustan al-Qasr and Sakhour. Unconfirmed reports also emerged on Thursday that 12 civilians, including four children, were killed in strikes by rebel groups on the government-held western half of the city. The Syrian opposition has not yet responded to the reports
Aleppo has been a constant battlefield in the Syrian civil war, now in its sixth year. The city has been divided between opposition control in the east and government control in the west since 2012.
The city’s east has been a particularly troubling scene in the conflict, enduring continuous shelling and destruction from Russian and Syrian government efforts to pressure the rebels. Civilians have borne the brunt of the conflict
Thursday’s deaths are the latest in the ongoing raids over civilian areas, according to local activists and rescue groups. “The Russian shelling will not stop for a second,” Ibrahim al-Hajj, head of media for the all-volunteer civil defence teams in eastern Aleppo, told Al Jazeera
“Russian warplanes have been dropping vacuum missiles since 2am yesterday night. There were more than six raids on our neighbourhoods.”
A resident of Bustan al-Qasr, a neighbourhood that has frequently come under fire, says the situation has become “horrific”.
“People in Bustan al-Qasr are not sleeping. They sleep during the day and stay awake at night because of the night raids,” Marwa Taleb told Al Jazeera. “There is complete destruction. You rarely see any standing buildings. If you walk through the streets you will cry. The sight of the rubble will make you cry.”