In Syria Over 25 killed in Aleppo attacks - Report

The captured area, elevated ground overlooking one of the main roads into Aleppo, had been in rebel hands for years.

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Over 25 killed in Aleppo attacks

(NBC NEWS)
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A Syrian government offensive on rebel-held areas of eastern Aleppo killed at least 25 people on Saturday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.

The Syrian military announced the major new offensive against the area on Thursday night, since when dozens of people have been killed in fierce bombardments.

The capture of the Handarat camp a few kilometres north of Aleppo marked the first major ground advance by the government in an offensive that rebels say has unleashed unprecedented firepower against their half of the city.

The captured area, elevated ground overlooking one of the main roads into Aleppo, had been in rebel hands for years.

"Handarat has fallen," an official with one of the main Aleppo rebel groups told Reuters. An army statement confirming the advance said "large numbers of terrorists" had been killed.

Dozens of people have been reported killed in eastern Aleppo since the army announced the new offensive late on Thursday, burying any remaining hope for reviving a ceasefire brokered by the United States and Russia.

Residents of rebel-held eastern Aleppo say it is being subjected to the most ferocious bombardment of the war.

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Rebel officials said heavy air strikes on Saturday hit at least four areas of the opposition-held east, home to more than 250,000 people. Rebels say the strikes are mostly being carried out by Russian warplanes.

The attack has drawn on ordnance more destructive than anything previously used against the area and many buildings have been destroyed, residents say. Images of blast sites show craters several metres wide and deep.

"There are planes in the sky now," Ammar al Selmo, the head of Civil Defence in the opposition-held east, told Reuters from Aleppo on Saturday morning. "Our teams are responding but are not enough to cover this amount of catastrophe."

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