Syria’s Aleppo city was the scene of mass carnage on Wednesday with at least 81 civilians killed in air strikes on rebel-held neighborhoods, a local rescue group said.
Assad regime, backed by Russia, said on September 22 it was starting a new wide offensive to recapture the rebel-held parts of Aleppo after a week-long ceasefire was declared officially over on 19 September.
Since 19 September, more than 600 civilians have been killed and more than 2000 injured in rebel-held areas of Aleppo province, including the besieged eastern part of the city, Civil defense workers said.
The deaths from raids in Aleppo’s Bustan al-Qasr and Fardous neighborhoods, as well as Ar-Rasheeqa city, were the results of the heaviest Russian bombardment in days on the city’s rebel-held sector, people in the city said. Dozens were also wounded.
First responders said the divided city’s eastern sector was pounded by more than 50 Russian and Syrian government missile attacks throughout the day that also wounded more than 87 people – some in critical condition.
“Up until this moment the Civil Defence is still working to pull people from the rubble,” Ibrahim Abu Leith, an Aleppo-based spokesman for the rescue group also known as the White Helmets, told Al Jazeera.
Earlier in the day, air strikes on a busy marketplace in the Fardous neighbourhood killed at least 22 people.
Dr Farida, a gynaecologist whose clinic was in the market, said it was not clear what the aircraft were targeting.
“Many stores totally disappeared. I can’t find a trace of a mini-market I used to buy things from,” she told the Associated Press news agency, asking that her last name not be published because of security concerns.
“The destruction is horrible,” she said. “The rubble has piled up and the roads are cut.”
According to Abu Leith, 45 people were killed in Fardous alone.
“We only have three doctors in our hospital and about eight nurses. We couldn’t accept all the injured at the same time,” Modar Sheikho, an emergency nurse in Fardous, told Al Jazeera.
“The fighting, the bombardment and the siege have worsened conditions inside Aleppo,” reported Al Jazeera.
“The United Nations is warning that drinking water remains limited, medical supplies are urgently needed and the distribution food rations are being split in half … aid agencies are appealing for access to treat the wounded.”
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On Tuesday, The hospitals emergency rooms were full for five hours, with medics scrambling to treat about 40 patients. Several died, and it was not until two hours into the debate that Shaghel had time to break off from treatment to do a brief interview.
“Today our hospital is full, until now,” he said. “A lot of children, old men, women – I don’t know what to say, I don’t know how to describe it. It is a very bad day. There are injuries in head, chest, abdomen, legs.”
The doctors treating victims of airstrikes live with the constant threat that they could be next on the operating table; the few hospitals still operating in the opposition side of Aleppo have been targeted several times.