Syrian government forces advance on Aleppo two weeks after ceasefire

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A front loader removes debris in a damaged site after airstrikes on the rebel held Tariq al-Bab neighbourhood of Aleppo, Syria September 24, 2016. Photo By Abdalrhman Ismail/Reuters

A front loader removes debris in a damaged site after airstrikes on the rebel held Tariq al-Bab neighbourhood of Aleppo, Syria September 24, 2016. Photo By Abdalrhman Ismail/Reuters

Nearly two weeks after a tenuous ceasefire was declared in Syria, Russian and Syrian government warplanes on Saturday pounded rebel-held territory with a barrage of airstrikes in the embattled city of Aleppo.

The attacks allowed government troops to capture a key area encompassing a Palestinian refugee camp located north of the city, which is on higher ground above a main road into Aleppo, according to Reuters.

Dozens of people have reportedly been killed during the strikes, which began on Thursday. The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 33 people were killed, including some children.

Witnesses near the scene of the strikes described massive carnage and toppled buildings surrounded by rubble and hospitals filled with those wounded by the airstrikes.

Syria's Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem addresses the United Nations General Assembly in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S., September 24, 2016. Photo By Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

Syria’s Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem addresses the United Nations General Assembly in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S., September 24, 2016. Photo By Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

Running water has also been cut off in recent days to nearly 2 million people living in sections of Aleppo controlled by each side of the conflict. At least 250,000 civilians are now trapped in an area of Aleppo controlled by opposition forces.

The United Nations said on Friday that it would increase emergency water supplies as a “temporary solution.”

“In the eastern part of Aleppo, the population will have to resort to highly contaminated well water,” a statement released by the organization read. “In the western part, existing deep ground water wells will provide a safe alternative water source.”

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said during the United Nations General Assembly on Saturday in New York that the government is gaining territory with the assistance of Russia, Iran and Hezbollah fighters from Lebanon.

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