U.S. blasts Russia, Syria as their new offensive escalates

Whether or not residents want to leave many agree that leaving is nearly impossible

Russian air strikes have killed at least 30 terrorists in Idlib province in northwestern Syria, the defense ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

The divided northern city has become the epicenter of the battle for Syria, as one of the last urban bastions of factions opposing Assad.

The ceasefires were meant to encourage residents and surrendering rebels to leave the east, but few did so, fearing moving into government-held territory.

Assad told Portugal's RTP TV that Trump could be a "natural ally" to his government but said he was dubious the incoming United States leader could influence all the decision-makers to change the American strategy.

"But we always say we have wishful thinking that the Unites States would be unbiased, respect the global law, doesn't interfere in other countries around the world, and of course to stop supporting terrorists in Syria".

Featured image courtesy of Washington Post.

Three hospitals in Syria have been targeted by Syrian and Russian airstrikes since Monday.

Bombs rained down on rebel-held eastern Aleppo for a second straight day Wednesday, pounding a district that houses several medical facilities, including the central blood bank, and forcing Syrian staff and patients in the only remaining pediatric hospital to cower in a basement as buildings collapsed around them.

The top diplomat reiterated Paris' commitment to applying pressure on the Assad regime and its Russian and Iranian backers in order to stop the indiscriminate bombing of civilians in besieged opposition-held eastern Aleppo and other districts. Its Defence Ministry said Russian and Syrian jets had not bombed Aleppo for the past 28 days, Interfax news agency reported.

Russian Federation said its air raids were only targeting Idlib and the central province of Homs to root out militants of the Islamic State group and Syria's al-Qaida affiliate.

Prior to the war, Aleppo was the largest city and commercial hub in Syria.

"Aleppo has been under siege since July and the escalating bombardment on the eastern part of the city has rendered the medical mission almost impossible", the group said in a statement.

Washington said it had received reports that the latest bombing raids had damaged civilian infrastructure in rebel areas.

"We are working to recover more people trapped under rubble and find missing people", Abu al-Laith added.

Washington already leads an global coalition carrying out strikes against IS in Syria and Iraq, but it does not coordinate with Damascus and Assad's government has condemned it as ineffective.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has told Portugal's RTP TV that Trump could be a "natural ally" to his government, but said he was dubious the incoming U.S. leader could influence relevant decision-makers to change the American strategy.

The coalition is supporting an operation by the Kurdish-Arab alliance known as the Syrian Democratic Forces to capture the IS bastion of Raqa.

The Russian Defense Ministry has denied accusations that Russian planes carried out the airstrike, which killed 35 people, among them 22 children.

The regime's siege of rebel-held neighborhoods has triggered a humanitarian catastrophe as food, water and medical supplies run low.



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