Aleppo: Syrian Army advances as bombardment continues

Warplanes mounted a new wave of heavy air strikes on rebel-held areas of Aleppo on Saturday pressing on with a major offensive by the Russian-backed Syrian military to take back the entire city.

The attacks came as a UN official said nearly two million people in Aleppo are without running water as security conditions deteriorate.

Syrian government forces, meanwhile, seized ground from rebels north of Aleppo.

The capture of the Handarat camp marked the first major ground advance by the government in an offensive that rebels say has unleashed unprecedented firepower against their half of the city.

The captured area – elevated ground overlooking one of the main roads into Aleppo – had been in rebel hands for years.

“Handarat has fallen,” an official with one of the main Aleppo rebel groups told Reuters. An army statement confirming the advance said “large numbers of terrorists” had been killed.

Residents of rebel-held eastern Aleppo say it has been subjected to the most ferocious bombardment of the war since the government declared a new offensive that has killed dozens of people in the last three days.

Sources told Al Jazeera on Saturday that at least 50 people had been killed in the past 24 hours.

“The raids are intense and continuous,” Rami Abdulrahman, the director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based organisation that reports on the war, said.

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