Syrian government airstrike kills at least 21 in AleppoBy RYAN LUCAS
The Associated Press | December 29,2013ALEPPO, Syria — A government airstrike hit a crowded vegetable market in a rebel-held neighborhood of the northern city of Aleppo on Saturday, killing at least 21 people, activists said.
For nearly two weeks, Syrian President Bashar Assad’s warplanes and helicopters have pounded opposition-controlled areas of the divided city. Activists say the aerial assault has killed more than 400 people since it began Dec. 15.
The campaign comes in the run-up to an international peace conference scheduled to start Jan. 22 in Switzerland to try to find a political solution to Syria’s civil war.
Some observers say the Aleppo assault fits into Assad’s apparent strategy of trying to expose the opposition’s weakness to strengthen his own hand ahead of the negotiations.
Saturday’s airstrike slammed into a marketplace in the Tariq al-Bab neighborhood, the Aleppo Media Center activist group and the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
The Observatory, which relies on a network of activists on the ground, said 25 people, including four children, were killed and dozens were wounded in the strike. The Aleppo Media Center published a list of 21 names of people it said were killed in the air raid.
The discrepancy could not be immediate reconciled, but differing death tolls are common in the chaotic aftermath of such attacks.
An activist with the Aleppo Media Center, Hassoun Abu Faisal, said the airstrike took place around 10 a.m. local time when the market was packed with shoppers.
“Cars were damaged, debris and rubble are everywhere,” he said. “Many of the wounded have lost limbs.”
Both Abu Faisal and the Observatory reported airstrikes in other opposition-held areas of Aleppo, including Myassar, although there was no immediate word on casualties.
Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, has been a major front in the country’s civil war since rebels launched an offensive there in mid-2012. The city has been heavily damaged since then in fighting that has left it divided into rebel- and government-controlled areas.
At the Vatican, meanwhile, a Syrian delegation delivered a message from Assad to Pope Francis during a meeting with the Holy See’s No. 2 Secretary of State, Monsignor Pietro Parolin, the Vatican said. It did not disclose the contents of the Syrian leader’s message, nor the pope’s reaction.
The pontiff has called for an end to the hostilities in Syria, most recently on Christmas.MORE IN Wire NewsGARLAND, Texas — One of two gunmen who opened fire with assault rifles at a Prophet Muhammad... Full StoryNEW YORK — A 25-year-old police officer shot in the head over the weekend while attempting to... Full StoryPARIS — French far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen was suspended Monday from the National Front... Full Story
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day 1739, 'Richard Palmer' identified in prison at York Castle as the notorious outlaw DICK TURPIN; IN 1836, Battle of the Alamo begins near San Antonio de Bexar, Texas; 1896, the Tootsie Roll invented by LEO HIRSCHFELD.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1472, Orkney, Shetland islands put up as collateral by Norway to Scotland in lieu of dowry for MARGARET OF DENMARK on her marriage with JAMES III, king of Scotland; 1962, JOHN GLENN first American to orbit Earth.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: City mayoral candidates debate campaign issues; Hartford, Conn., woman still missing; Neal Goswami reports attempts to legislate suicide; local woman loses 100 pounds through TOPS program.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1878, JOHN TUNSTALL murdered near Lincoln, New Mexico, by the outlaw JESSE EVANS; in 1930, ELM FARM OLLIE first cow to fly in aircraft, first to be milked airborne; 1955, nuke test WASP; '79, snow in Sahara.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Rutland Herald News Editor Alan J. Keays and staff writer Gordon Dritschilo discuss stories planned for the February 18, 2015, edition of the newspaper: Winter budgets maxed, legal marijuana, Springfield bank job, USPS slowdown
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1249 AD, ANDRE of LONGJUMEAU is dispatched by LOUIS IX of France to meet the KHAGAN, ruler of the Mongol Empire; in 1804, during 1st Barbary War, STEPHEN DECATUR scuttles the pirate-held USS Philadelphia in Tripoli.