Syria’s Aleppo Hit by Deadly Car Bomb, Government Air Strike

Posted September 9th, 2012 at 4:40 pm (UTC-5)
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Syrian state media say a car bomb in Aleppo has killed at least 17 people, while opposition activists say a government air strike in the northern city also has killed and wounded civilians.

The official SANA news agency said the car bomb went off near a hospital and a school in Aleppo late Sunday. It blamed the attack on terrorists – the government's term for rebels fighting in an 18-month uprising against autocratic Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Opposition activists said government warplanes bombed and destroyed a residential compound in Aleppo earlier in the day, killing and wounding several people and leaving others trapped under rubble.

It was not possible to verify government and opposition casualty figures independently.

Syrian security forces and rebels have been battling for control of Aleppo for months. The fighting has damaged water pipes in Syria's commercial capital and led to water shortages, which the two warring sides have blamed on each other.

Also Sunday, activists reported battles between government and rebel forces in the Yarmuk Palestinian refugee camp near the capital, Damascus. In another incident, Syrian state media said a bomb attack on a bus killed four people in Homs province. Activists said the bus was carrying soldiers and civilians.

Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said discussions with Russian leaders about Syria have not been productive.

The top U.S. diplomat was in Russia for a summit of Pacific Rim countries. She said her talks on Sunday with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made little progress on how to deal with the Syrian civil war.

Clinton said if the differences persist, she is willing to work with “like-minded” states to support the Syrian opposition in its struggles.

Lavrov said unilateral U.S. sanctions against Syria have had a direct impact on Russian business interests. He said Moscow has made it clear that this approach is not acceptable. Syrian President Assad is a longtime Russian ally.

Russia and China have repeatedly blocked attempts by Western and Arab powers to pass U.N. Security Council resolutions threatening sanctions against Mr. Assad.

Activists have said the Syrian conflict has killed at least 20,000 people.