Barrel bombs and airstrikes by Assad regime hit Syria’s Aleppo on Thursday hours after a temporary truce announced by regime ally Russia came into effect in the northern war-torn city.
An AFP reporter said regime helicopters dropped the crude explosive devices on the city’s rebel areas after residents had headed to markets for their first-morning shopping in weeks.
In the evening air strikes hit the eastern part of the city controlled by the rebels, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, adding that the insurgents retaliated by firing rockets into the regime-held west.
At least four civilians were killed in the fresh violence, three on the eastern side of Aleppo and one in the west, added the Britain-based monitor.
The two-day truce came hours after US Secretary of State John Kerry warned Moscow that Washington’s patience was running out over breaches of a nationwide ceasefire.
The new ceasefire was announced by Moscow late Wednesday in a bid to halt violence in the city, split since 2012 between a regime-held west and a rebel-controlled east.
“On Russia’s initiative, a ‘regime of silence’ has been introduced in Aleppo for 48 hours from 00:01 16 June (2101 GMT Wednesday) with the goal of lowering the level of armed violence and stabilising the situation,” Russia’s defence ministry said.
“This temporary truce of a few hours doesn’t aim to end the bloodshed, but to give some rest to the killers — those who massacre the people of Aleppo and Syria — before they resume their crimes,” activists said.