iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) — Airstrikes continued to hit eastern Aleppo Tuesday, although the attacks were not as intense as in previous days, according to activists and locals.
“A few minutes ago, two raids happened in the neighborhood. There are gases in the air from the attack,” Abu Rajab, a nurse in eastern Aleppo’s al-Sakhur neighborhood, told ABC News on a video call, while wearing a face mask. “I can see and smell the gases. You never know when it will happen, there’s no schedule. This is normal for us now. We see it every day.”
On Sunday, the hospital’s intensive care unit was so crowded that one surgeon had to conduct an operation on the floor, he said.
Hamza Khatib, a doctor at another hospital in the city, said a number of wounded were brought in for treatment after Tuesday’s attacks, and three have died from the violence.
“Today and yesterday, the airstrikes were lighter than in the previous days,” Khatib told ABC News. “Yesterday, we received 36 dead.”
Airstrikes on Aleppo intensified after the Syrian military declared an offensive against eastern Aleppo on Sept. 22 – a few days after announcing that a U.S.-Russia-brokered ceasefire had ended. Locals described attacks over the weekend as “unprecedented” in strength and quantity. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that at least 27 were killed by airstrikes Sunday in east Aleppo. Today, the observatory reported that barrel bombs hit several neighborhoods in the besieged area, leaving a number of civilians wounded. In the countryside, one man died following bombardments from the air.
From April 22 through Sept. 26, at least 25,472 people have been killed in Syria, according to the observatory. Among the killed were 6,920 civilians, including at least 1,341 children and 1,136 women. April 22 marked the day when another U.S-Russia truce ended in Syria.
At an emergency meeting Sunday, Western UN diplomats condemned the recent escalating violence in Aleppo and blamed Russia and the Syrian government. Samantha Powers, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., accused Russia of committing barbarism under the guise of counter-terrorism.
“Instead of pursuing peace, Russia and [Syrian President Bashar al-]Assad make war. Instead of helping get lifesaving aid to civilians, Russia and Assad are bombing humanitarian convoys, hospitals and first responders who are trying desperately to keep people alive,” Powers told members of the Security Council Sunday.
She continued, “It seems the only items that make it into eastern Aleppo these days are barrel bombs and incendiaries that witnesses report seen dropped by Assad’s forces and Russian forces. Russia, of course, has long had the power to stop this suffering. Even now, we will continue to look for any way possible to restore the cessation of hostilities.”
Powers, along with the French and U.K. ambassadors to the UN, walked out of the emergency session in protest when Syria’s ambassador was called to speak.
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