Warplanes targeted rebel-held areas of eastern Aleppo on Friday in a second day of heavy bombardment hours after the army announced the start of a military operation there, rescue workers and activists said.
The Syrian military, which is backed by the Russian air force, said late on Thursday it was starting a new operation against the rebel-held east, which is home to at least 250,000 people and was also targeted in heavy air strikes on Thursday.
The Syrian military could not immediately be reached for comment on Friday, and there was no word on casualties.
Ammar al Selmo, the head of the civil defense rescue service in eastern Aleppo, told Reuters a squadron of five warplanes was in the skies over the city, identifying them as Russian.
A fresh wave of bombing had started at from 6 a.m. (11:00 p.m. EDT), after heavy overnight attacks, he said. “What’s happening now is annihilation,” he said.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported at least 30 air strikes had targeted different areas of Aleppo from midnight.
(Reporting by Ellen Francis and Tom Perry; Editing by Nick Macfie and Ralph Boulton)
A retires State Department Ambassador told Peace and Freedom: “International affairs are about getting your objective with power. The U.S. has forgotten how to do that. It’s not a day at the beech with your best pal.”
The report below is from late Thursday, September 22, 2016, in the Times of Israel.
Kerry, Lavrov discuss Syria in New York
Hours after clashing at UN, Americans and Russians meet to discuss collapse of ceasfire, solutions for civil war
US Secretary of State John Kerry (L) and Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov pose prior to a meeting to discuss the Syrian crisis on September 9, 2016, in Geneva. (AFP/Pool/Kevin Lamarque)
MOSCOW — Russia and the United States discussed the Syrian conflict in New York, hours after clashing over the issue at the United Nations, the Russian foreign ministry said Thursday.
US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov talked first by telephone “at the initiative of the Americans,” the ministry said in a message on Facebook.
The diplomats then met, accompanied by their delegations, “to continue discussing the problem of a settlement [of the conflict] in Syria.”
Russia and the United States negotiated the latest ceasefire plan, but Syria ended the truce on Monday following an apparently accidental US-led coalition strike on Syrian soldiers.
Shortly after the truce ended, a UN aid convoy was hit, killing 20 humanitarian workers and destroying 18 trucks carrying food for desperate civilians in Aleppo province.
On Wednesday, an angry Kerry demanded at a UN Security Council meeting that Russia force Syria to ground its air force, which Washington blames for the attack on the aid convoy.
Kerry said the bombing raised “profound doubt” about whether Russia and its Syrian ally were committed to upholding a ceasefire.
In his address to the Security Council, Lavrov declared on Wednesday that there would be “no more unilateral pauses” by Syrian government forces, arguing that opposition fighters on the ground had previously used those ceasefires to regroup.
He insisted that all sides must rein in rebel groups on the ground to ensure they comply with the ceasefire and said a list of terror groups not covered by the truce should be reviewed.
The United States and Russia are to chair a meeting in New York later on Thursday of the 23-nation International Syria Support Group (ISSG), which brings together world powers with a stake in the civil war.
Above: Mr Kerry and Mr. Lavrov in happier times.
The Obama Administration from the President of the United States and his two Secretaries of State, Hillary Clinton, have often been criticized for their jocular style in international relations. Syria is in ruins perhaps not seen since Berlin in 1945. Russia continues to hold Crimea and parts of Ukraine. China has defiantly refused to leave the South China Sea, even though the Permanent Court for Arbitration in the Hague said their nine dash line claim is not valid in international law. North Korea and Iran continue on paths of belligerence. Potentially nuclear belligerence. Welcome to the future.
Most recent headlines from Syria:
U.S. General Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Syria: U.S. Wants No-Fly Zone, Resumption of Humanitarian Aid Delivery — Kerry has finally “cracked” — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the attack on an aid convoy “raised profound doubt” as to whether Russia or Syria would live up to ceasefire obligations.
U.S. Air Force Bombers Fly Over South Korea: Former Air Force general and critic says “fly-past message sending like this is like driving a state police car past a house full of radical Islamic terrorists. After you drive past, they are still at work….”
U.S. Bombers Over South Korea in Show of Force After North’s Nuclear Test (From September 13, 2016)
Kerry’s Syria Offer To Putin — Ash Carter is openly skeptical of Mr. Kerry’s latest overture — Plus Hillary Clinton’s Idea For An “Intelligence [Cooperation] Surge” (Who knows more about sharing U.S. government secrets?)
China and Russia held joint military exercises in the pacific Ocean in 2014 — they have just been conducting similar exercises in the South China Sea during much of September 2016.
Tags: Aleppo, Assad, Bashar al-Assad, China, even though the Permanent Court for Arbitration in the Hague, Hillary Clinton, Iran, Joseph Dunford, Kerry, Lavrov, North Korea, Obama, Obama Administration, Obama Legacy, Permanent Court for Arbitration in The Hague, Putin, Russia, South China Sea, South Korea, Syria, Syrian military