More than 200 airstrikes hit Aleppo over the weekend
"Fear is clear in the eyes of anyone you see walking the streets of Aleppo," activist says
Monther Etaky had gotten used to the sound of barrel bombs dropping on Aleppo. The 28-year-old graphic designer even managed to sleep normally, but in recent days that’s changed.
“The new missiles are so loud and horrifying,” the father of a two-month-old boy tells CNN.
“The city is now a ghost city,” he says. “There are only ambulances and fire trucks around and over the past three days the shelling has been horrible.
Over 200 air strikes hit the rebel-held city of Aleppo over the weekend, killing more than 100 people and injuring hundreds more, according to Ammar al-Selmo, the head of the Syria Civil Defense group, a volunteer emergency medical service.
On Sunday, top UN officials described the Syrianm regime’s brutal offensive against areas of the besieged northern city of Aleppo as “barbaric.”
Following the collapse of a short-lived, US and Russia-brokered ceasefire, Syrian forces pounded eastern Aleppo on Sunday, killing at least 85 people and wounding more than 300 others, an activist group reported.
Etaky’s young son has been suffering with a fever but he says he has been unable to get him treatment with the city’s resources brutally stretched.
Food has become hugely expensive. The graphic designer who married a year ago says his family rely on basics such as lentils, rice and eggplants, while the local council hands out bread.
He takes his son and wife with him to buy food such is his fear that they will be shelled in the house.
Medical organizations are fully stretched and options are running out fast.
“The hospitals are all full and the doctors are all busy,” he said. “There’s no milk for the children.”
Aid arrives to four towns
On Sunday, the International Committee of the Red Cross confirmed it had managed to deliver aid to four towns caught up in the conflict.
According to the ICRC, 71 trucks reached rebel-held Madaya and Zabadani, near Damascus, and government-controlled Foah and Kefraya, in Idlib province.
The trucks brought food, medical supplies and hygiene kits for 60,000 people.
Syria’s military declared the ceasefire over last Monday, after a weekend strike by US-led coalition warplanes on a Syrian army post killed dozens of troops. The US military did not dispute the strike, but characterized it as “unintentional” and relayed its “regret” to Syria through Russia, saying the intended target had been ISIS.
Shortly after the ceasefire ended, a UN and Syrian Arab Red Crescent aid convoy was hit in an airstrike, killing about 20 people. US officials blamed Russia, while Moscow denied that Russian or Syrian warplanes were responsible.
The bombardment destroyed residential centers and overwhelmed hospitals.
“Everyone in Aleppo is depressed,” an activist on the ground told CNN.
“They don’t know what they have done to become targets for warplanes. Fear is clear in the eyes of anyone you see walking the streets of Aleppo. Yesterday I saw a woman walking on the street and crying , no clear reason, just crying.”
Hundreds of airstrikes have rocked the city, home to more than 250,000 people, since the Syrian government, backed by Russia, announced a renewed, “comprehensive” offensive on Thursday.
Sunday’s death toll marked an increase in casualties, according to the Aleppo Media Center (AMC), an opposition-affiliated group of activists that works to document the conflict.
Wounded people are dying because health services are overstretched and providers don’t have the ability or capacity to treat them, the activist said. Due to a lack of supplies, hospitals are performing amputations to keep some people alive.
Only 20 doctors remain in eastern Aleppo, the activist added.