Syria conflict: Russian air strikes target Aleppo rebels

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image copyrightAFP
image captionThousands of Aleppo residents have been killed in five years of fighting for what was once Syria's economic hub

Russian and Syrian planes have pounded rebel-held areas in Syria's largest city, Aleppo.

The overnight bombing targeted the rebels' last remaining supply route on the eastern side of the divided city.

Aleppo, once Syria's economic hub, has been the scene of fierce fighting since civil war broke out in 2011.

Despite recent efforts to calm the situation and introduce temporary truces, the battle for the city seems to be intensifying, correspondents say.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has made clear his intention to recapture Aleppo, and on Friday one of his key allies - the leader of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, promised to send more fighters.

A recent truce brokered by the US and Russia expired earlier this month without renewal.

Russia has pledged to press ahead with its air campaign in support of President Assad's forces, saying rebels had failed to deliver on promises to break ranks with al-Qaeda loyalists.

The latest strikes focused on the Castello Road, the only remaining route out of the rebel-held east of the city, monitors said.

A local civil defence group said a child was among two people killed in the bombing.

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