Five dead in Syria airstrikes ahead of planned ceasefire

Five dead in Syria airstrikes ahead of planned ceasefire
Aerial bombardment on a residential neighbourhood controlled by Syria's rebels killed at least five civilians on Sunday, as the world anticipates the implementation of a ceasefire.
2 min read
11 September, 2016
The air raid came ahead of the planned ceasefire due to begin on Monday [Anadolu]

At least five civilians were killed in aerial bombardment targeting a rebel-controlled neighbourhood east of Aleppo on Sunday, as the opposition continued to mull over a US-Russia truce deal due to take effect on Monday.

Dozens were injured when "government helicopters targeted the residential area," activist Mansoor Hussain told The New Arab, noting that "Qabr al-Engleezi was also hit by warplanes."

The reports come just a day after more than 100 civilians were killed in regime-bombardment on Idlip and Aleppo, while five others were killed on the outskirts of the capital.

"People were shopping before the Eid al-Adha next week, which is why the toll is so high," said Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman after Saturday's strikes.

SOHR added that many of wounded are in severe condition and many others remain unaccounted for, which is likely to increase the death toll.

The Army of Conquest - led by the Fateh al-Sham Front, which changed its name from al-Nusra Front after renouncing ties with al-Qaeda - is regularly bombarded by pro-government forces.

Close to 500,000 people have been killed since Syria's conflict first erupted in March 2011, and several attempts at securing a long-lasting truce have faltered.

State news agency SANA on Saturday reported that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government "approved the agreement" brokered between US and Russia.

Key regime ally Iran welcomed the plan on Sunday and called for "comprehensive monitoring" of the truce, particularly along Syria's volatile borders. 

"The continuation and sustainability of a ceasefire relies on the creation of a comprehensive monitoring mechanism, in particular control of borders in order to stop the dispatch of fresh terrorists, as well as weapons and financial resources for the terrorists," he said.

But Syria's main opposition group the High Negotiations Committee - which brings together political dissidents with armed rebel factions -- had yet to formally respond.