A series of air strikes have killed a team of medics in Syria’s northern province of Aleppo, an aid agency has said, as the Assad regime continued to advance around the city.
At least 13 aid workers were killed by raids in Khan Tuman, a village south of Aleppo city, on Wednesday, according to the Union of Syrian Medical Relief Organisations.
The group said air strikes killed four of its staff, two nurses, and two ambulance drivers, as they were evacuating victims from an earlier raid on Wednesday which had killed nine medical personnel.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which tracks daily developments in the Syrian conflict, said seven civilians, including three children, were also killed in separate air raids on Wednesday in the northwestern town of Khan Sheikhun.
The monitoring group said dozens of raids hit the city’s east overnight, as Assad regime’s troops advanced on rebels in Aleppo’s southwestern outskirts.
Overnight fighting was focused in areas that control access to Aleppo city, where the rebel-held east has been besieged by Russian and Iranian-backed pro-regime forces and completely encircled for all but a few weeks since July.
Syrian state media said the regime forces had recaptured a fertilizer factory in the Ramousah area to the southwest of the city. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring body, confirmed the advance and said regime forces had pressed forward near an apartment complex nearby.
A rebel fighter in the Aleppo area said warplanes had been bombing all night in preparation for an attack. But “the regime’s attempts to advance failed,” said the rebel, speaking to Reuters from the Aleppo area via the internet.
A Syrian military source said insurgent groups were mobilizing to the south and west of Aleppo and in the northern Hama area. “We will certainly target all these gatherings and mobilizations they are conducting.”
Idlib province was attacked today as well
In a preliminary death toll, eight civilians lost their lives and tens were gravely wounded after Assad or Russian jet fighters conducted multiple airstrikes on Khan Sheikhoun city in Idlib countryside.
The casualties were caused by vacuum and cluster bombs dropped on residential areas of the city, activist Hashem al-Abdullah said.
Rescuers rushed to the site of the attacks, where many civilians were still trapped under rubble, hoping to recover a number of them.
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On Monday, a UN aid convoy was targeted directly in the Uram al-Kubra district west of Aleppo city.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that the attacks were carried out by either Assad regime’s or Russian aircraft and at least 32 people were killed.
At least 18 of 31 trucks in a U.N. and Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) convoy were hit on Monday along with an SARC warehouse. The convoy was delivering aid for 78,000 people in the hard-to-reach town of Urm al-Kubra in Aleppo province.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which said it was postponing an aid convoy that had been set to deliver supplies to four besieged Syrian towns, warned of the consequences for millions of civilians in need.
The Syrian crisis began as a peaceful demonstration against the injustice in Syria. Assad regime used to fire power and violence against the civilians and led to armed resistance. 450.000 Syrians lost their lives in the past five years according to UN estimates, and more than 12 million have lost their homes. Syria