Rebel rockets kill 38 in Syria’s Aleppo: monitor

Beirut: Rebel rocket fire into regime-held districts of Syria’s northern city of Aleppo killed at least 38 people today, among them 14 children, a monitoring group said.

“Rocket fire on government districts is still going on,” said Rami Abdel Rahman of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

“It’s one of the heaviest tolls yet from rebel bombardment of Aleppo,” he said.

He gave a toll of at least 150 wounded in the attacks on the west of the city which Syrian state media earlier said had killed at least 19 people and wounded 95.

Western Aleppo is controlled by regime forces while rebels are in the east of the city.

Rebels often fire rockets and makeshift missiles into the west, and the regime carries out aerial bombardment of the east.

The latest deaths come as French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said jihadists from the Islamic State group were making major gains in Syria, especially in the Aleppo region.

Le Drian pointed in parliament to “the very significant progress of Daesh (IS) in Syria at this very moment,” as he defended Paris’s decision to conduct surveillance flights over Syria with a view to carrying out air strikes.

The United States, Canada, Turkey and Gulf states have already been involved in strikes on IS militants in Syria.

Australia also announced last week it would join the Syrian operation.

Elsewhere, Syrian state media said seven people were killed in a car bombing in Hasakeh, a day after twin suicide car bomb attacks in the northeastern city.

State news agency SANA said at least 21 people were wounded in the attack, which was later claimed by IS in a statement on social media.

The Observatory said the attack targeted a position of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).

It gave an initial toll of four dead, two YPG members and two civilians.

The attack came a day after twin blasts killed 32 people in Hasakeh, including 19 civilians, according to the Observatory.

Six Kurdish security forces and seven fighters from a pro-regime militia were also killed in the attacks, which were also claimed by IS.

Control of Hasakeh city — and other parts of the province itself — is divided between Kurdish militia and forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.