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Reports: Russian, Syrian Forces Step Up Aleppo Bombings

Residents and a monitoring group say Russian and Syrian government aircraft have pummeled rebel-held areas in Aleppo amid an escalating battle for what was Syria's largest city before the five-year-old war.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring group, and residents recorded nearly 50 air strikes in and around Aleppo on June 5, saying at least 16 civilians were killed in the bombardments.

Meanwhile, a civil defense worker was quoted by Reuters as saying that the air strikes killed at least 32 people in parts of the city controlled by rebels, with the bodies of 18 people having been pulled from destroyed buildings in Aleppo's Qaterji neighborhood.

Syrian state media said insurgents killed at least 20 people in June 5 attacks on Hamadaniyah, Midan, and other Aleppo neighborhoods.

Aleppo, about 50 kilometers south of the Turkish border, is divided between the government and rebels fighting to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who has been backed by the Kremlin in the war.

A truce was brokered by Washington and Moscow in February. But the agreement has since unraveled, with fighting and bombardment in Aleppo playing a major role in its collapse.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, and the Telegraph