At least 231 people have been killed in the easter parts of rebel-held Aleppo in Syria over the past four days, even as major world powers with stakes in the country’s civil war continued to blame each other at United Nations gatherings. “Instead of pursuing peace, Russia and [Syrian President Bashar al-] Assad make war. What Russia is sponsoring and doing is not counter-terrorism. It is barbarism,” the United States said at an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on Sunday.
France and the United Kingdom joined in, calling the situation in Aleppo “a new hell” for the Syrians, and claiming that war crimes were being committed consistently by Russia and the Syrian regime.
Russia, which stands with Assad against US-back rebel groups, claims it has been targeting the Islamic State group, which previously controlled large parts of the city, but is being "sabotaged by the moderate opposition". Its ambassador Vitaly Churkin told the council, “In Syria, hundreds of armed groups are being armed, the territory of the country is being bombed indiscriminately, and bringing a peace is almost an impossible task now because of this.”
The Russian airstrikes in Aleppo are being viewed as some of the heaviest since the civil war began in the country five years ago. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the large number of casualties have taken place since the September 9 ceasefire between the pro-Assad and rebel camps was called off last week after an aid convoy was bombed in north Aleppo.
The civil war in the West Asian country began in 2011 following massive protests against the Assad regime. The Syrian government has been accused of committing atrocities against civilians such as dropping barrel bombs in populated areas as well as using chemical weapons. More than 300,000 people have died in the war, and nearly half the country’s population forced to flee since it began.