Syrian rebel shelling kills 21 civilians in Aleppo: monitor
Displaced Syrians, who fled their houses due to the ongoing conflict in Syria, queue up to receive aid food in the rebel side of the northern city of Aleppo, on September 7, 2015. (AFP/Fadi al-Halabi)
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Rebel mortar and rocket attacks against regime-controlled areas of Aleppo, Syria, on Tuesday killed at least 21 civilians and injured dozens more, according to reports.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based human rights group monitoring the conflict, reports the dead include at least seven children.
More deaths are expected, SOHR reports, due to the severity of wounds among another 70 civilians injured during the barrages, which struck the Hamadaniyya, Akramiyya and Halab al-Jadida neighborhoods of the city.
Syrian state news reports at least 100 civilians were injured in the barrages, which it says also hit in the New Aleppo, al-Rashedeen and Salah al-Din neighborhoods.
The shelling is reported to be an attempt by insurgent forces to divert Syrian military attention away from other rebel attacks in the city.
In recent months, Aleppo province has been the scene of complex fighting between rival insurgent groups and the Syrian military, though the region has been a constant battleground since the Syrian Civil War began in 2011.
Amnesty International in May released a report condemning the government of President Bashar al-Assad for killing thousands of civilians in Aleppo with inaccurate air attacks, noting the Syrian military's use of barrel bombs -- large improvised explosive devices dropped from helicopters -- had between January 2014 and April 2015 killed 3,124 civilians and 35 rebel fighters in the city.
In early May, SOHR said airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition bombing Islamic State (Daesh) militants in both Iraq and Syria killed more than 50 civilians during airstrikes on a village in Aleppo province. U.S. Central Command at the time said it had "no information to corroborate allegations that coalition airstrikes resulted in civilian casualties" but was investigating the matter.
Meanwhile, IS forces were reported last month to be fighting rival insurgents in Aleppo province, on Aug. 9 killing 40 near the village of Om Hosh and two days later killing 50 rebels with the al-Shaitaat tribe after infiltrating the town of Mare.
By Fred Lambert