Syrian rebels fired mortar bombs into government-held parts of the northern city of Aleppo during rush hour Monday, killing 13 people and wounding dozens, state-run TV and a monitoring group said.
The violence was the latest in the flare-up in Aleppo, Syria’s largest city and once its commercial hub. Last month, Syrian troops and pro-government militias launched an offensive in an attempt to besiege rebel-held parts of the city and since then, intense fighting has been taking place on the city’s outskirts.
On Monday, state TV aired footage from Aleppo showing the wounded and the dead as they were being brought to a hospital in the city. It said the shelling killed 13 and wounded as many as 30, some of whom suffered serious injuries.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an activist monitoring group that has a network on the ground, gave a similar casualty toll.
State television said the shells struck Baron Street, falling near a school as students were leaving after class. The footage shows a woman crying over a body covered with a blue sheet on the hospital floor, and a wounded boy being carried into the hospital.
The Observatory and local anti-regime activist groups reported fierce clashes north of the city, as part of an insurgent drive to win territory and protect a supply line leading to Turkey. They said a Nusra Front militant detonated a truck bomb in the Dweir al-Zeitoun area as insurgents seized territory around the village of Bashkoy, while there was no information on casualties in the fighting.
Also Monday, government warplanes bombed the area near Jabal Zawiya in Idlib province, where an army helicopter crashed the previous day and where its five crew members were captured by rebels, activists said. The rebels later shot dead one of the crew, according to videos posted online.
The Observatory said nine air raids were conducted Monday in the area. The Local Coordination Committees also reported several airstrikes but it was not immediately clear if there were casualties.
Local anti-regime activists in Idlib also posted interviews with several residents of the village of Sarmeen, which they say was targeted last week by a chlorine gas attack by a regime helicopter. They said that in the early hours of Monday morning, a barrel bomb containing chlorine gas targeted the village once again, but did not detonate.
Fierce clashes were also reported around the southern town of Busra al-Sham, with differing accounts of which side had seized territory. Many anti-regime activists in Deraa province have adhered to a news blackout in the clashes, which have spilled over into the neighboring, Druze-majority province of Swaida.
Also, a barrel bomb strike targeting the village of Tafas killed five children from the same family, the Observatory and anti-regime activists reported.
In the center of Syria, ISIS fighters attacked a military airport in Homs province as they pushed on with an offensive against government strongholds toward the west, the Observatory said.
It said ISIS attacked a military airport in Tadmur, the site of the Roman-era ruins of Palmyra, early Monday.