SNC Threatens to Boycott Geneva Talks as 300 Die in Week of Air Raids on Syria's Aleppo

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  • W460
  • W460
  • W460

Syrian warplanes have killed more than 300 people in an eight-day bombing campaign on Aleppo, with the opposition National Coalition saying it will not attend planned peaced talks if the bombing continues.

The vicious campaign has seen aircraft drop barrels of TNT on rebel-held neighborhoods -- a tactic widely condemned as unlawful -- flooding hospitals with victims, according to activists, medics and others.

The attacks come as President Bashar Assad's forces have advanced on several fronts recently while Western nations have been preoccupied with Syria's chemical disarmament and preparing for the January peace talks.

"From December 15 to 22, 301 people have been killed, including 87 children, 30 women and 30 rebels," said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which relies on a network of activists and witnesses on the ground.

It later said 21 people had been killed Monday in attacks on the rebel-held Marjeh and Soukkari districts of Syria's second city, once its commercial capital.

Activists released what they said was footage of a school targeted in the village of Marea near Aleppo. Children can be seen running from the school and screaming as loud explosions rumble in the background.

Inside, men pull children from the rubble, their faces caked in dust and blood. It was not possible to verify the footage.

Assad's opponents say the bombing is aimed at demoralizing their supporters and turning them against the insurgents.

A security source told Agence France Presse the army had adopted the tactic because of a lack of ground forces, and argued the heavy civilian toll was because the rebels -- branded "terrorists" by the regime -- are based in residential areas.

Aleppo has been split between opposition and government forces since a massive rebel assault in July 2012.

Human Rights Watch has accused the government forces of using weapons and tactics that fail to distinguish between civilians and combatants, making such strikes "unlawful."

The main opposition National Coalition has called on Western states to impose a no-fly zone to halt the attacks.

"Until Assad's warplanes are stopped, the humanitarian disaster, regional instability and the rise of extremism will only continue to get worse," said Munzer Aqbiq, an adviser to the Coalition's president.

If bombing continues Coalition 'will not go to Geneva'

Later, Coalition Secretary General Badr Jamous went further and said that "if the bombing the Assad regime is carrying out and its attempt to annihilate the Syrian people continue, then the coalition will not go to Geneva."

The so-called Geneva 2 talks are aimed at getting agreement on a political transition to end the war, which has claimed an estimated 126,000 lives since March 2011 and displaced millions.

But the increasingly fractured opposition has said Assad must step down as part of any deal, which Damascus rejects.

And several powerful rebel groups have rejected the talks outright, raising concerns that even if an agreement is reached the opposition would be unable to enforce it on the ground.

The initiative is aimed at building on the momentum of a deal to eradicate Syria's vast chemical arsenal by mid-2014, which averted punitive U.S. strikes after an August gas attack near Damascus killed hundreds of people.

But analysts argue the regime has been emboldened by U.S. President Barack Obama's failure to act after Assad allegedly crossed his "red line" against using chemical weapons.

"There are no more red lines, there is a green light," Salman Shaikh, the director of the Brookings Doha Center, told AFP, saying there is an "element of vengeance" in the Aleppo bombings.

"Any credible use of force was taken off the table by Obama and the international community."

Meanwhile, Assad said Syria was being confronted with a major offensive by Islamist extremists.

"The country is facing a takfiri ideology," Assad said, using a term for Sunni Muslim extremists. "This is terrorism without limits, an international scourge that could strike anywhere and anytime."

Comments 21
Thumb geha 23 December 2013, 15:19

baby killers doing their job assisted by Iranian, Iraqi and Russian baby killers.

Missing lebcan 23 December 2013, 21:40

YES... IRAN HIZBSHITAN ASSad hASSni and ISRAEL .... I HATE!!! them with equal passion... the only good people are the Good Muslims and the Good Christians...

Thumb Mystic 23 December 2013, 15:44

Where does that number come from? Syrian Observation ofcourse.

Missing peace 23 December 2013, 18:46

the irony is that even cites the observatory.... LOL

Thumb Mystic 23 December 2013, 19:56

action speaks louder than words.

Missing lebcan 23 December 2013, 21:43

301 dead OH i guess you mean only 3 dead from the many TNT Barrel drops... Okay... Sorry must be just 3 Dead... ASSad has surgical strike Barrels.

Thumb Mystic 23 December 2013, 15:44

Based in London

Thumb cedre 23 December 2013, 19:47

people like u and ft show us that the next one on the list are lebanese sunnis.
Heartless brainless sectarian animals...

Thumb cedre 24 December 2013, 01:40

un homme averti en vaut 2, on va se faire avoir comme les baghdadis ou qusayris...We dont need protection from anybody, just have to do like christians, shias, alawites and druze, ie get weapons and form a militia coz the LAF cant do its job properly...

Thumb Mystic 24 December 2013, 06:09

hhhhhhhhhh FT!

Missing peace 23 December 2013, 17:21

sure syrian war planes pounding aleppo is fabricated for M8ers... killing civilians is fabricated for M8ers... what is never fabricated is when it concerns the other side!
only the other side are doing massacres and bashar makes sure to never kill civilians and never kill children....

how much more cynical and hypocrit can M8ers be?

Missing peace 23 December 2013, 17:29

La fusion entre Al-Qaïda et Jabhat Al-Nosra a été démentie par la branche syrienne, bien que cette dernière ait fait allégeance à Ayman Al-Zawahiri. Or, Al-Zawahiri serait caché quelque part en Iran, sous la protection des Gardiens de la révolution qui l’exploitent et le manipulent, tantôt en Irak, tantôt en Syrie, mais aussi au Yémen et en Arabie saoudite. Faut-il rappeler qu’Al-Qaïda s’était installée et renforcée en Irak grâce au concours de la Syrie, pour y combattre les Américains ? Faut-il aussi se souvenir que Damas a utilisé Al-Qaïda au Liban, sous l’appellation Fatah Al-Islam ? L’été 2012, Michel Samaha ne devait-il pas commettre des attentats au Liban, y compris contre le Patriarche maronite, au nom d’Al-Qaïda, pour pulvériser le pays du Cèdre ? Aujourd’hui, la fausse fusion entre les terroristes d’Irak et de Syrie sert la stratégie syrienne. D’une part, elle justifie le génocide en cours .....

Thumb shab 23 December 2013, 19:19

At least they will all end in heaven, unlike the other murdering "jihadist duty" bastards

Thumb Mystic 23 December 2013, 20:46

Bigjohn, suicide bombs should not be used close to civilian areas. You are more clever than that come on.

Missing lebcan 23 December 2013, 21:48

Both Terrorists.... both losers like USA and IRAN... and their followers... in the ARAB world...

Missing peace 23 December 2013, 23:12

There is a systematic attack on the Christian community in Syria and hundreds of thousands of Christians were displaced. Both sides are using the minority, Christians, as a political card, which is appalling from both sides. And we are losing, whoever wins at the end. The Christian community has lost a tremendous amount of presence and it is under enormous threat of danger.

But today we see that the Christians are suffering more than any community in Syria because they are being abused both by the regime and by rebels.

Missing peace 24 December 2013, 01:14

i don t care about geagea , so tell he is my master all you want if it can flatters your ego or gets you less frustrated...

insult M14 all you want, it seems to relieve your pain...but if you think you'll anger me, you are wrong as usual little FPMer...

Thumb kanaandian 24 December 2013, 00:42

those saudi killers should free the nuns to prove that they come in peace so we can support the democratic process. sadly, i feel they may be raped, forced to convert and then eaten alive by those savages.

Thumb cedre 24 December 2013, 01:40

saudis kidnapped the nuns ? are they not from chechenya and cuba ?

Thumb Mystic 24 December 2013, 06:12

Cuba?? Where did you get that idea from, Saudi & Chechen yep and all other countries in the world too. The cockroarches comes from all over

Default-user-icon Michael Alam (Guest) 24 December 2013, 10:42

Mystic whys your face covered be proud in what u stand for.. You make sick..without weapons your nothing...NOTHING!