Rebel Aleppo Strike 'Mimics Ruthlessness of Assad'

HRW criticizes 'indiscriminate' attack on civilians after over 12 killed in missile bombardment in divided Syrian city.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

A debris-filled street in Aleppo (file)
A debris-filled street in Aleppo (file)

At least 12 people were killed and 30 wounded on Monday in rebel fire on government-held districts of Syria's second city Aleppo, state television said, as a watchdog group accused the rebels of resorting to the same kind of wanton killing of citizens that is routinely carried out by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

In a breaking news alert, the channel said children were among the casualties in "terrorist shelling of the city," reports AFP.

The bombardment was also reported by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor, which put the death toll at 13. The group reported at least 33 people wounded and said the death toll was expected to rise because of the number of seriously wounded.

The Observatory said the rocket fire hit several neighborhoods in the government-controlled west of Aleppo, and came a day after at least four people were killed in similar rebel fire.

Once Syria's industrial powerhouse, Aleppo has been ravaged by the conflict, and control of the city is divided between the government-held west and rebel-held east.

Government forces regularly pound rebel-held areas of the city from the air, with rights groups reporting that Assad's forces have been "systematically" targeting hospitals and committing various atrocities throughout Syria. Opposition fighters for their part fire rockets and mortar rounds into the west of Aleppo.

The rebel fire came as Human Rights Watch (HRW) criticized opposition fighters in a new report for "indiscriminate" attacks against civilians in
government-controlled areas.

HRW warned there had been a "race to the bottom in Syria, with rebel groups mimicking the ruthlessness of government forces."

More than 215,000 people have been killed in Syria since an anti-government uprising that began with peaceful demonstrations in March 2011.

The conflict has since become a complex multi-front war that has attracted thousands of foreign fighters to jihadist organizations such as the Islamic State (ISIS) group.

ISIS claimed responsibility on Saturday for a double bomb attack on Kurdish new year festivities in the northeastern city of Hasakeh on Friday night.

On Monday, the Observatory said the toll in that attack had risen from 45 to 54 dead, among them 20 children.