This Sunday, July. 31, 2016 photo, provided by the Syrian anti-government activist group Aleppo Media Center (AMC), shows a Syrian young man burns tires in an attempt to prevent airstrikes above Aleppo, Syria. (Aleppo Media Center via AP)
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The Syrian government's key ally Russia launched heavy airstrikes overnight on the outskirts of divided Aleppo city, slowing a "last-chance" assault by rebels seeking to break a government siege.The assault began Sunday and is intended to ease the encirclement of the opposition-held east of Aleppo city, where an estimated 250,000 residents have been under government siege since July 17 . The Observatory said 50 rebels and allied extremists had been killed since the operation began on Sunday, as well as dozens of government troops.The Observatory said at least 30 civilians had also been killed since Sunday in opposition bombardment of government-held southwestern districts of Aleppo.Elsewhere in Aleppo province, the Observatory said at least 11 people, including five children, were killed in airstrikes believed to have been carried out by Russian warplanes on the rebel-held town of Atareb.According to the Observatory, 76 people have been killed in strikes there since July 16 .
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