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MONDAY, 21 APR 2014
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Government airstrike kills 10 in Aleppo
A man runs as he carries a child who survived from what activists say was an airstrike by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, at al-Ferdaws in Aleppo January 21, 2014. (REUTERS/Ammar Abdullah)
A man runs as he carries a child who survived from what activists say was an airstrike by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, at al-Ferdaws in Aleppo January 21, 2014. (REUTERS/Ammar Abdullah)
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BEIRUT: A government airstrike killed 10 people in a rebel-held neighborhood of Syria’s main northern city of Aleppo Tuesday, a monitoring group said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported that some fighters of the jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria had refused orders to withdraw from a battle with government troops in order to fight against rival rebels.

“An airstrike hit the area of a bus station ... in Jisr al-Hajj,” in Aleppo, the Observatory said, with its director Rami Abdel-Rahman telling AFP: “We have documented 10 deaths.”

The Observatory distributed amateur video footage showing a huge fire in the area, located in the westernmost part of Aleppo city.

Warplanes also targeted the Ansari neighborhood further east, the Observatory said.

Once Syria’s commercial capital, Aleppo has been wracked by violence since a massive rebel assault in July 2012.

In mid-December, the regime’s air force unleashed a brutal offensive that has killed hundreds of people, mostly civilians, according to the Observatory.

Aleppo-based citizen journalist Mohammad al-Khatib told AFP via Skype: “Today’s attack is part of that assault.

“There has been aerial bombing every day since Dec. 15, except for the days when visibility was poor because of the weather.”

Another video distributed by the Observatory showed a man, reportedly in Ansari, running with a wounded child in his arms from a damaged building to a pickup truck.

The child has a visible head wound, with blood on his face that is also covered in dust from the rubble.

The Observatory said helicopters dropped crude “barrel bombs” on an industrial area of Aleppo, the Aleppo village of Hreitan, and rural areas of Hama province, causing an unspecified number of injuries but no deaths.

Elsewhere in Aleppo province, the Observatory said a group of jihadist fighters had refused to leave a battlefront with the regime after being ordered to fight rival rebels.

ISIS has been locked in fierce clashes with Islamist and rebel fighters in much of northern Syria for weeks, in fighting that has killed more than 1,000 people

The Observatory said a group of ISIS fighters battling the army and allied militia in the village of Blat refused to redeploy to Mambij, where rebel-jihadist clashes are underway. It said 10 regime troops and paramilitaries and five militants from ISIS were killed in the fighting.

There were no immediate details of the number of ISIS fighters who refused the orders.

Mambij is one of the few large towns in rural Aleppo where the hard-liners still hold territory following the campaign by rebels.

In the city of Raqqa to the east, the Observatory said ISIS militants gained control of the western part of a regime base, while the group closed all educational institutions in the city, where it has withstood rebel assaults.

In the capital, three mortar bombs fell on the upscale neighborhood of Malki, wounding several people, including a child. Another mortar bomb fell on Aleppo Street in the eastern part of Damascus, without causing any injuries.

A second evacuation took place from the besieged Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp south of Damascus, the Observatory said, without giving a number of those who left.

It said an unspecified number of sick individuals, women and children were allowed to leave the area, which has been under a monthslong siege by government troops. Another death was reported in the camp due to the lack of medicine, while residents reportedly stormed an aid distribution center, angry at the slow pace of relief deliveries.

A small amount of food and other supplies were allowed into the camp earlier this week.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on January 22, 2014, on page 5.
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Story Summary
A government airstrike killed 10 people in a rebel-held neighborhood of Syria's main northern city of Aleppo Tuesday, a monitoring group said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported that some fighters of the jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria had refused orders to withdraw from a battle with government troops in order to fight against rival rebels.

Warplanes also targeted the Ansari neighborhood further east, the Observatory said.

Elsewhere in Aleppo province, the Observatory said a group of jihadist fighters had refused to leave a battlefront with the regime after being ordered to fight rival rebels.

The Observatory said a group of ISIS fighters battling the army and allied militia in the village of Blat refused to redeploy to Mambij, where rebel-jihadist clashes are underway.
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