Russians allegedly dropping parachute bombs in Aleppo
Russian bombers shower Aleppo with parachute bombs
Russian armed forces injured dozens in Aleppo after a night of heavy aerial bombardment in that war-torn Syrian city.
By TOM BATCHELOR
Using parachute bombs, Russian jets struck civilian areas less than 24 hours after a ceasefire by Russian and Syrian government forces expired.
A day earlier the Kremlin, keen to shift the focus of international outcry away from their war, accused the US of carrying out a “medieval slaughter” in the Iraqi city of Mosul.
The latest Russian bombing struck in Aleppo province and left a huge plume of smoke and dust rising into the sky.
Parachute bombs – conventional shells attached to a small parachute which slows the descent of the weapon – are routinely used by the Russian air force.
They are said to be more effective at striking tunnels used by jihadis and rebels.
On Friday, a devastating Russian bombing raid left at least 20 civilians dead and many more injured.
A spokesperson for the Syrian Civil Defence, better known as The White Helmet brigade, said a squadron of Russian warplanes had taken “revenge” on the people of Aleppo with its latest airstrikes.
He said: “A squadron of Russian aircraft struck the countryside to the west of Aleppo to take revenge on civilians for rebel forces trying and failing to break the siege of east Aleppo.”
Bebars Mishal, another official with the white helmets volunteer group, which digs victims out of the rubble and runs an ambulance service, said of the bombing: “Nothing can be done. Nobody can stop the planes.”
Aleppo has become the focal point of fighting in Syria’s war, now in its sixth year, pitting President Bashar al-Assad and his allies against Sunni rebel groups including some supported by Turkey, Arab states and the West.
The city is split between the government-held west and rebel-held east.
Winning full control of it would be the biggest victory so far for Assad’s government in a war that has killed hundreds of thousands of people.
However, Russia is keen to shift scrutiny and anger about its operation in the Middle East to the US campaign to eradicate Islamic State (ISIS).
On Sunday a Kremlin official accused Washington of carrying out “medieval slaughter” in the city of Mosul, which is ISIS’ key stronghold in Iraq but looks likely to fall in the coming months after an offensive to retake the city.
Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for Russia’s Foreign Ministry, used her own Facebook page to write that US-backed forces were targeting civilians.
She said: “The anti-terrorist operation carried out by the major powers of the 21st century has turned into a medieval slaughter, in which the civilian population is primarily affected.
“The population of Mosul is killed en masse by both terrorists and by the coalition forces.
“One thing is clear, the coalition treats the Iraqi civilians in Mosul a lot worse than the militants in Aleppo.”