Syrian civil defense volunteers, known as the White Helmets, evacuate a victim from the rubble of a building following reported airstrikes on Aleppo's rebel-held district of al-Hamra on Nov. 20, 2016. / AFP / THAER MOHAMMED
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U.S. President Barack Obama said he is "not optimistic" about Syria's future, as the U.N. warned time is running out to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe in Aleppo which has been pounded by airstrikes for nearly a week.Government forces launched a ferocious assault last Tuesday to recapture eastern Aleppo, killing 115 civilians so far. In fresh fighting Sunday at least eight children died when rebel rocket fire hit their school in the government-controlled west.The Britain-based group said at least 19 civilians including five children were killed in the east Sunday.More than 250,000 people remain in eastern Aleppo, which has been sealed off since government forces surrounded it in mid-July.More than 300,000 people have been killed in Syria since the conflict began with anti-government protests in March 2011 .
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