Russian planes pounds Aleppo as Syria army closes in

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ALEPPO, Syria, June 25, (APP): Russian planes pounds Aleppo as Syria army closes in

 

Russian and Syrian warplanes pounded rebel-held areas of divided second  city Aleppo on Saturday as government forces closed in on the  rebels' sole remaining supply line, a monitoring group said.

 

An AFP correspondent in the rebel-held east of the  city said the air strikes lasted throughout the night into  the morning.

 

Aleppo, which was Syria's commercial and manufacturing  hub before civil war broke out in 2011, has been a key  battleground ever since rebels seized eastern neighbourhoods  of the city the following year.

 

The Russian strikes focused on the Castello Road,  the only remaining route out of the rebel-held east of the  city, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

 

"Russian planes are backing a Syrian regime ground  offensive on the northern edges of the city, while Syrian  planes bomb the eastern neighbourhoods," Observatory head  Rami Abdel Rahman said.

 

A child was among two people killed in strikes on the  rebel-held Al-Maysar neighbourhood, the White Helmets civil  defence group said.

 

"In the past two days, my kids and I haven't been able  to sleep all night because of the huge blasts, the likes of  which we haven't heard before," said 38-year-old shopkeeper  Abu Ahmed.

 

A father of three, Abu Ahmad owns a small convenience store  in east Aleppo.

 

"We haven't been able to get any products or produce for  the shop over the past two days because no one can use the  (Castello) road," he said.