'Time running out for east Aleppo' UN envoy warns

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By Joanna Gill
'Time running out for east Aleppo' UN envoy warns

The latest

  • Rebel shelling kills eight school children
  • Barrel bomb on rebel area kills family of six
  • Suspected chlorine gas in barrel bomb
  • 240 killed since Tuesday in bombings

Time is running out for eastern Aleppo, that was the message of UN special envoy for Syria Staffan De Mistura as he left talks in Damascus.

He expressed his fears over the continued regime bombing of eastern parts of the city and confirmed that the Syrian government rejected a truce proposal which would have allowed the opposition to administer the eastern part of the city.

The Syrian Foreign Minister said that it was ‘not acceptable at all to leave some 275,000 of our people as hostages to six or seven thousand gunmen’.

While diplomacy falters, the fighting rages on. A rebel shelling killed eight children at a school in western Aleppo, while a barrel bomb killed a family of six in the rebel-held east.

Two medics say the family had suffocated because the barrel bomb had been laced with chlorine gas. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights could not confirm if the gas had been used. If confirmed, it would contravene the International Chemical Weapons Convention.

Hundreds of people have been killed since Tuesday as the regime and its allies aimed to stamp out the resistance in Aleppo’s east. The Syrian army and Russian air force had halted their bombardment, (except on the front lines) for two weeks, but started again on Tuesday.

The suffering of civilians was made even more stark by the World Health Organisation reporting that there are no working hospitals left, due to the relentless bombing in the east. Though one war monitor said some facilities were still functioning.