Syrian army planes bomb Aleppo, killing 21 -UPDATED

Syrian military helicopters dropped barrel bombs and warplanes launched air strikes on the town which lies northeast of the city of Aleppo

Syrian army planes bomb Aleppo, killing 21 -UPDATED

World Bulletin/News Desk

At least 21 people were killed and around 100 wounded when Syrian army planes bombed a town in northern Syria that is controlled by ISIL militants, a group monitoring the war said on Sunday.

Syrian military helicopters dropped barrel bombs and warplanes launched air strikes on al-Bab which lies northeast of the city of Aleppo, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported without saying when the attacks happened.

One of the 21 killed was a child and the death count was expected to rise as some of the wounded were in a serious condition, said the Observatory, which gathers information from a variety of sources in Syria.

U.S-led warplanes have also been hitting ISIL targets in Syria in a campaign which Washington says is not coordinated with Damascus. The Syrian army previously hit an area near al-Bab in September, saying it had "eliminated a number of terrorists" shortly after U.S.-led strikes started.

There was no immediate report on the latest strikes on Syrian state media.

Since the U.S.-led forces started strikes on Syria more than a month ago, Syria's military has ramped up its own air raids, concentrating on the west of the country and at times targeting territory held by Western-backed rebel fighters.

The U.S.-led strikes have mainly focused on Syria's north and east where ISIL and other militant groups hold territory in areas bordering Turkey and Iraq.

In the capital, U.N. envoy Staffan de Mistura met with Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem and other government officials to discuss his recent regional tour, state news agency SANA said.

They also talked about de Mistura's address to the U.N. Security Council last month in which he proposed an "action plan" of implementing some local ceasefires, SANA added.

FREEZE ZONES

A spokesperson for de Mistura was not immediately available for comment. It was his second visit to Damascus since taking up his post in July. On his previous visit, he met with President Bashar al-Assad.

Some Western diplomats are concerned that de Mistura's push for local ceasefires could be problematic unless carried out very carefully. They say pro-government forces have used such agreements in the past to force insurgent-held areas to surrender and have rounded up men there.

In his U.N. address, de Mistura had mentioned the northern city of Aleppo as an obvious candidate for "incremental freeze zones," which would stop localised fighting and allow better access to humanitarian aid.

The Observatory also said on Sunday that ISIL had called on dozens of its fighters in the northeast of the Aleppo province to head west towards the predominantly Kurdish town of Kobani near the Turkish border, also known as Ayn al-Arab.

ISIL has been battling Kurdish forces in and around Kobani for over a month in a fight that has displaced tens of thousands and drawn Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga fighters into the conflict. U.S.-led forces have also been bombing ISIL targets around the town.

Last Mod: 22 Kasım 2014, 12:26
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