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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Syria's Aleppo Bombarded in Overnight Airstrikes

By VOA News October 14, 2016

Warplanes belonging to Russia and the Syrian government conducted a massive air raid on targets in rebel-held areas of Aleppo overnight and into Friday morning, according to a monitor group.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported Friday morning that dozens of airstrikes hit eastern Aleppo overnight and while the airstrikes ended by mid-morning, skirmishes were still taking place around the northern and southern edges of the city.

According to the Aleppo Media Center - an activist collective - the airstrikes killed or wounded several people, though the exact number is unknown. some people are still buried under the rubble.

The fresh round of bombing comes just a day before U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is scheduled to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. It will be the first meeting between the two representatives since Washington and Moscow cut off diplomatic talks earlier this month.

The West accuses Russia and its Syrian allies of war crimes for bombing hospitals and U.N. relief convoys in and around Aleppo as they target Syrian rebels looking to topple President Bashar al-Assad.

Diplomacy to reduce violence

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Wednesday the U.S. is no longer trying to reach an agreement with Russia but is instead trying to use a "variety of diplomatic channels" to reduce the violence inside Syria.

"And that's necessarily going to include some Russian participation. But it is no longer in the context of trying to broker this agreement that would ... hold out the prospect of U.S. military cooperation with Russia. That's something that Russia has lost, frankly, lost the credibility to be able to try to agree to," Earnest said.

Hundreds of thousands of civilians are trapped in the city of Aleppo, which has seemingly become ground zero in Syria. Rebels control the east while the Syrian military besieges the rest of the city.

While targeting the opposition with bombs, Syrian and Russian forces have been hitting civilians. Pictures of bleeding children, some in so much shock that they cannot even cry, have sickened the world.

Russia denies attacking civilians. It says its only target are "terrorists," the word Russia and Syria use when talking about the opposition.

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