Aleppo Strikes Kill 12 Members of Same Family, Observer Group Says

Even as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has renewed his plea for government and opposition forces to stop fighting in Syria, the country's city of Aleppo was pounded overnight and Friday morning by intense bombing.

Among the victims were 12 members of the same family, including six children, who were killed by airstrikes in the village of Bashkateen in Aleppo's western countryside today, said the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which attributed the strikes to Syrian government forces.

The family was internally displaced, having moved to Bashkateen from another Syrian town, activists said.

In east Aleppo, at least 27 people, including two children from one family, were killed by Russian and government airstrikes, according to the observatory. Many were injured and others are missing, the observatory said.

Even in this war-weary city, last night's airstrikes were frightening.

"My wife and daughter didn't sleep all night. We were petrified. The sound of the explosions is much worse than usual," an east Aleppo resident told ABC News.

Airstrikes continued Friday morning, with three out of four Syrian Civil Defense centers under fire, according to a tweet by the civil defense.

3 of the 4 @SyriaCivilDef centers in Aleppo city targeted this morning. 60 air strikes in East Aleppo

- The White Helmets (@SyriaCivilDef) September 23, 2016The Aleppo Media Center posted photos on Twitter that it said showed damage after attacks on Aleppo's Qaterji neighborhood.

???? ?????? ??? ????? ?????? ???? ?????? ?? ???????? ???? ????? ?????? ????? ??? ????? 7 ????? ? 6 ???? ????? ?????.#AleppoAMC

- ???? ??? ???????? (@AleppoAMC) September 23, 2016Activists claim that the Syrian government and Russia have used napalm, phosphorous and cluster bombs in attacks on Aleppo since the Syrian military declared Monday that the cease-fire had ended. ABC News has not been able to independently verify these claims.

One out of only two water-pumping stations in Aleppo was hit overnight, according to local activists. The two stations are under the control of forces opposed to the Syrian government but provide water for both rebel-held eastern Aleppo and government-held western Aleppo.

The attacks Thursday and Friday followed an announcement from the Syrian military that it was launching an offensive against eastern Aleppo and offering evacuation corridors for civilians. In the statement, the military urged civilians to stay away from "locations of armed terrorist groups."

Residents said the government's move is part of a deliberate policy of forced displacement.

Meanwhile, eastern Aleppo is still waiting for aid, which was supposed to reach the besieged area during the U.S.-Russia-brokered cease-fire. The truce was broken Monday when an attack on an aid convoy in western Aleppo left at least 21 people dead, including several aid workers.

The United Nations has 40 trucks with aid ready to enter eastern Aleppo. The aid has been sitting by the Turkish border since the beginning of last week and is still waiting by the border in Syria customs area. Once the U.N. gets the green light, the first convoy carrying a month's worth of wheat flour for more than 150,000 people will be sent to Aleppo, according to the U.N.'s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The shipment will be followed up by a delivery of enough food rations to feed 35,000 people for a month.

"The recent upsurge of violence in east Aleppo is obviously a concern for us. However, we are standby," David Swanson, spokesman for the U.N.'s humanitarian affairs office, told ABC News. "As humanitarians on the front line we are ready to move. It is now up to the politicians to make this a reality."

The distance from the Turkish border to east Aleppo is only some 40 miles, but the journey could take about four to five hours.

Up to 275,000 people in eastern Aleppo are in need of humanitarian aid. Aid workers have not been able to reach the besieged area since clashes between the Syrian government and armed rebel groups started July 7.

Around 13.5 million people in Syria are in need of humanitarian assistance, while 4.8 million have fled their country and 6.1 million are internally displaced, according to this month's figures from the U.N.'s humanitarian affairs office.
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