Eleven people were killed and dozens others injured Wednesday when Russian warplanes struck opposition-held areas of Syria’s northwestern Aleppo province, a local civil defense official said.
The airstrikes targeted Aleppo city’s Al-Ansari district, leaving eight dead and another 25 injured, Ibrahim Abu Leith, an Aleppo-based civil defense official, told Anadolu Agency.
Civil defense teams rushed to the scene in hopes of rescuing people trapped under the rubble of collapsed buildings, Abu Leith said.
In Aleppo’s Atarib district, meanwhile, three people were killed and another 14 injured in separate Russian airstrikes, Abu Leith said, adding that another four people were hurt when two civil defense vehicles were targeted while delivering aid to the stricken area.
According to Abu Leith, Russian and Syrian regime warplanes have recently stepped up attacks against residential areas of Aleppo’s opposition-held Al-Sukkari, Maadi, Bustan al-Qasr and Al-Qadi districts.
These attacks occurred while the Syrian rebels continued their wide attack for the third day to break siege on the besieged areas of Aleppo.
Russian forces attack a Syrian town by chemical weapons
A Syrian rescue service operating in a rebel-held territory said on Tuesday a helicopter dropped containers of toxic gas overnight on a town close to where a Russian military helicopter had been shot down hours earlier.
The opposition Syrian National Coalition (SNC) accused Assad regime of being behind the attack. Assad has denied previous accusations of using chemical weapons.
A spokesman for the Syria Civil Defence said 33 people, mostly women and children, were affected by the gas, which they suspect was chlorine, in Saraqeb, in rebel-held Idlib province.
The group, which describes itself as a neutral band of search and rescue volunteers, posted a video on YouTube apparently showing a number of men struggling to breathe and being given oxygen masks by people in civil defense uniforms.
“Medium-sized barrels fell containing toxic gases. The Syrian Civil Defence was not able to determine the type of the gas,” said the spokesman.
The SNC said of the reported use of poison gas in Saraqeb: “After shelling, besieging and killing civilians and perpetrating war crimes on them, the Assad regime has resorted once again, and in breach of UN resolutions 2118 and 2235, to using chemical substances and toxic gases.
“The daily reality confirms that all the international agreements and previous security council decisions, be they about chemical weapons or otherwise, are meaningless for the Assad regime.”
The Civil Defence spokesman said it was the second time Saraqeb had been hit by toxic gas. The group was aware of around nine suspected chlorine gas incidents across Idlib province since the conflict began, he said.