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Syrian forces step up deadly attacks on Aleppo

Damascus: Syrian forces bombarded Aleppo with barrel bombs and air raids for a second day Sunday, with scores of people killed in 48 hours, a monitor said, after peace talks ended inconclusively.

At least 36 people were killed in Sunday's attacks alone on Syria's second city, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, after reporting 85 deaths the previous day.

Saturday's toll was one of the bloodiest in weeks and reflects the deep divide between the government of President Bashar al-Assad and his opponents despite 10 days of peace talks.

The nearly three-year-old conflict erupted into a fully fledged war after a bloody regime crackdown on peaceful anti-government protests in the wake of Arab Spring uprisings that toppled veteran presidents.

More than 136,000 people have been killed in Syria since the conflict began, with January one of the bloodiest months, and millions have been displaced internally and as refugees in neighboring countries.

The war has also spilled over into Lebanon, sparking sectarian clashes between supporters and opponents of the Syrian government as well as deadly car bomb attacks.

On Sunday, regime warplanes pounded rebel-held districts in eastern Aleppo, with helicopters dropping the controversial makeshift barrel bombs denounced by rights groups as indiscriminate.

Another 15 died in separate air raids and barrel bomb strikes on the divided city.

Another 20 rebels were wounded, some of them seriously, in the attack in the town of al-Ra'ei, not far from the Syrian border with Turkey, the Observatory added.

The rebels were Islamist brigades that have joined moderate rebels in fighting the militant ISIL since the beginning of a backlash in early January.

The Observatory said the bomb attack came as fighters gathered at an Islamist rebel brigade headquarters to discuss the possibility of a truce in the fighting with ISIS that has raged throughout rebel-controlled areas.



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