People walk past damaged buildings in the rebel-held Tariq al-Bab neighbourhood of Aleppo, Syria, October 5, 2016. REUTERS/Abdalrhman Ismail
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The assault has seen rebel-held areas pounded relentlessly with air strikes, barrel bombs and artillery fire that have killed more than 270 people, according to the Observatory.Analysts dismissed the army's announcement of a reduction in its bombardment as as a "PR gimmick".- U.S.-Russia 'engagement remains' --But the U.S. State Department acknowledged on Wednesday that Secretary of State John Kerry had called his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov to discuss Syria despite the announcement.French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault was to travel to Moscow on Thursday and Washington on Friday to try to garner support for a U.N. resolution on a ceasefire for Aleppo, his office said.Ankara launched its Operation Euphrates Shield on Aug. 24, saying its forces and allied Syrian rebels would fight both ISIS and Kurdish militia in northern Syria.On Thursday, at least 29 rebels involved in Ankara's operation were killed in a blast claimed by ISIS at the Atme border crossing between Turkey and Syria, the Observatory said.
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