Aleppo residents living ‘a daily holocaust’; mayor blames international inaction

A man reacts on the rubble of damaged buildings after losing relatives to an airstrike in the besieged rebel-held al-Qaterji neighbourhood of Aleppo, Syria October 11, 2016. REUTERS/Abdalrhman Ismail

The mayor of Aleppo is blaming the international community for the continued bombings and deaths in the war-torn Syrian city.

“We live a daily holocaust in Aleppo,” Mayor Brita Haj Hassan told Sky News. “Aleppo is burning every day.”

Overnight shelling and more than a dozen airstrikes on rebel-held parts of the city killed at least 11 Thursday, bringing the death toll in the last three days to at least 65, according to an opposition activist group and Aleppo’s volunteer civil defence forces.

Rebel shelling of government-held areas in the divided city also killed two girls at a school. The airstrikes came a day after an air raid hit eastern Aleppo’s biggest market, killing at least 15 people and levelling buildings.

Hassan said that the international community hasn’t done enough to stop the bombings.

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“The international community are part of what is going on in the killing of children and the bombing and the war crime. And they never took any measure to stop that, they are just watching. They are part of the crime being committed in Aleppo.”

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported more than 20 airstrikes on eastern Aleppo that killed seven while shelling killed four, adding that clashes were taking place between government forces and insurgents on the city’s northern edge.

The Halab Today TV channel reported “intense” airstrikes on rebel-held parts of Syria’s largest city, adding that cluster bombs were being dropped. These bombs break apart when fired into several smaller explosive “bomblets” and are considered highly dangerous to civilians. Canada and 118 other countries have signed an international convention banning their use.

Ibrahim Alhaj, a member of the Syrian Civil Defence, said the airstrikes killed 13 and wounded 25. He said some people remained buried under the rubble and search operations are underway.

The Observatory said Wednesday that at least 358 civilians have been killed in eastern Aleppo since a U.S.- and Russian-brokered truce collapsed on Sept. 19. The UN says over 100 children have been killed in the campaign, which has also included a limited ground offensive.

— With files from Leslie Young, Global News


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