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

Russia on Tuesday carried out its heaviest strikes in days on Syria's Aleppo, as at least five children were killed in rebel fire on a school in the war-torn country's south, AFP reports.

The raids in Aleppo killed at least 12 civilians, a monitor said, and caused massive damage in several residential areas of the city's rebel-held east.

Russia is an ally of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.

Syria announced an all-out offensive for Aleppo on September 22, shortly after a ceasefire brokered by the United States and Russia fell apart.

This past week, however, the Syrian military said it would "reduce" air strikes on rebel territory to allow civilians in the city to flee.

But on Tuesday, an AFP correspondent and the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported renewed heavy bombing.

"This is the heaviest Russian bombardment since the Syrian regime announced it would reduce the bombardment" last week, Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said.

The 12 dead, among them four children, were killed in raids in the Bustan al-Qasr and Fardos neighborhoods, the Observatory said.

An AFP correspondent in Bustan al-Qasr saw a multi-storey residential building that had been destroyed, its facade sheared off in the air attack.

Members of the White Helmets rescue force pulled two lifeless toddlers from the building and wrapped them in white sheets.

The Britain-based Observatory -- which relies on a network of sources inside Syria for its information -- says it determines what planes carried out raids according to their type, location, flight patterns and the munitions involved.

Backed by Russian air raids, government forces have been advancing street by street into rebel-held parts of Aleppo.

At least 290 people, mostly civilians, have been killed by government or Russian fire since the operation began, according to the Observatory.

Rebel forces were also firing on western government-held districts of Aleppo on Tuesday, with state news agency SANA reporting four dead and 14 wounded in rebel bombing of Hamdaniyeh district.

Elsewhere in Syria, state media said five children were among six people killed in rebel rocket fire on a primary school in the southern city of Daraa.

The Observatory also reported the deaths, saying at least 25 people were wounded and the death toll could rise because a number of the wounded were in critical condition.

The assault on Aleppo has sparked international condemnation, with fears for the fate of more than 250,000 civilians trapped inside the east of the city since the government imposed a siege in mid-July.

French President Francois Hollande on Sunday described the campaign in the city as a war crime, a day after Moscow vetoed a French-drafted UN resolution on a halt to air strikes on Aleppo.

And UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday again asked the Security Council to formally request that the International Criminal Court (ICC) begin investigations of war crimes in Syria.

More than 300,000 people have been killed in Syria since the conflict began in March 2011, and more than half the population has been displaced.

AFP contributed to this report.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Yom Kippur in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)