Aleppo airstrikes resume after 3-week pause

By Andrew V. Pestano Follow @AVPLive9 Contact the Author   |  Updated Nov. 15, 2016 at 8:43 AM
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ALEPPO, Syria, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- After a three-week pause, airstrikes targeting besieged, rebel-held eastern Aleppo resumed Tuesday, human rights watchdogs said.

Aleppo's Haidariya, Masakin Hanano and Sheikh Faris neighborhoods were targeted, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. The Aleppo Media Center said at least three people have died due to the "barrel bomb" attacks.

Prior to the resumption of airstrikes in eastern Aleppo, a hospital in the Awaijel rebel-held village west of Aleppo was bombed -- the third bombing of a medical facility in less than 24 hours.

Russia and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime have been accused of committing war crimes due to their at-times indiscriminate bombing in civilian populations, particularly over their alleged bombing of hospitals and schools.

Earlier this month, Russian Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu said peace negotiations between rebels and Assad's regime were postponed indefinitely due to rebel attacks.

Russia, Assad's key ally, paused airstrikes mid-October to allow civilians and rebels to leave.

The resumption of airstrikes in eastern Aleppo indicates Assad will move ahead with a final offensive to defeat rebels in Aleppo to seize full control of the city, the Independent reported.

CNN reported Aleppo residents received a text message, most likely sent by the Syrian government, on Sunday telling them to flee the city or die. In the message, residents were warned that Aleppo's sick and wounded should leave before a "strategically planned assault using high-precision weapons occurs within 24 hours."

In the same message, Syrian rebels were given an ultimatum to either lay down their arms and renounce their leadership -- or to be killed.

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