A man selling pastries walks past the rubble of damaged buildings in the rebel held al-Shaar neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria, February 10, 2016. REUTERS/Abdalrhman Ismail
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A Russian-backed government onslaught in northern Syria was reported Wednesday to have killed more than 500 people this month, as Turkey faced new pressure to open its border to people fleeing the violence.The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 506 people had died since the government launched a major offensive against rebels in Aleppo province on Feb. 1 .Turkey is already hosting 2.7 million Syrian refugees and has refused to let a new wave into the country, instead providing humanitarian assistance over the border in Syria.The U.N. has warned 300,000 people in eastern Aleppo city could be cut off from humanitarian aid if government forces encircle the area, a tactic used by the government to devastating effect against other rebel bastions.More than 260,000 people have been killed and half the population displaced since Syria's conflict began in 2011 with anti-government protests.Last week, U.N. envoy Staffan de Mistura suspended Syria peace talks until Feb. 25 amid opposition protests about the bombing, and the Munich meeting aims to pressure the sides to return to the table.
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