Site of regime bombing in Aleppo
Site of regime bombing in AleppoReuters

11 children were killed on Thursday in a barrel bomb attack carried out by government forces on a rebel-held neighborhood of Syria's Aleppo city, a monitor said, according to AFP.

"15 civilians, among them 11 children, were killed in a barrel bomb attack on the Bab al-Nayrab neighborhood" in the south of Aleppo city, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor was quoted as having said.

The group also reported eight civilians, including two children, were killed on Thursday in rebel fire on the government-held west of the city.

Barrel bombs are crude weapons -- containers packed with explosives and scrap metal that are typically dropped from helicopters.

Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad has repeatedly denied using barrel bombs and has claimed in interviews that no such weaponry exists. The West, for its part, notes that only the regime has helicopters from which these weapons are dropped.

An AFP journalist in Bab al-Nayrab on Thursday saw rescue workers and civilians digging through the rubble of collapsed buildings.

One man carried out the lifeless body of a baby no bigger than his forearm. Its eyes were closed and its body was white with dust except for speckles and smears of blood.

Nearby, a civil defense worker protected the face of another dead child as his colleagues scraped away the rubble encasing the rest of the child's body.

Once Syria's economic powerhouse, Aleppo city has been ravaged by the conflict that began with anti-government protests in March 2011.

The city has been roughly divided between rebel control in the east and government control in the west since mid-2012, with each side bombarding the other and causing civilian casualties.

Fighting for Aleppo city has intensified since regime troops seized control of the last supply route into rebel-held areas in mid-July.

Earlier this week, the United Nations' top aid official voiced anger at world powers' inability to agree on a truce to allow aid into Aleppo, warning of an "unparalleled" humanitarian catastrophe in the city.

After a nearly three-week siege, rebels early this month linked up with opposition-held neighborhoods via a new road from the city's south, in a major blow to fighters loyal to Assad.

But fighting has continued near the new supply line, which has been bombarded almost daily in recent days, affecting supplies coming into the city's opposition-controlled neighborhoods.

An AFP correspondent in the city's rebel-held east said on Thursday that vegetables and meat were becoming more scarce than in days after the siege was broken.

A liter of fuel had risen from 700 Syria pounds ($3.25, 2.90 euros) earlier this month to 1,200 Syrian pounds, he said.

Around 250,000 people live in the city's eastern districts, while another 1.2 million live in its western neighborhoods.

More than 290,000 people have been killed in Syria since the conflict began, according to the Observatory.

AFP contributed to this report.