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Bombings Kill Dozens In Aleppo After Syrian Peace Talks End

Human rights groups accuse Syria's government of dropping barrel bombs over the city of Aleppo over the weekend, killing an estimated 126 people.
Posted at 9:49 PM, Feb 02, 2014

Human rights groups say dozens of people were killed over the weekend during a bombing campaign in the Syrian town of Aleppo.

Unverified video appears to show government helicopters dropping "barrel bombs" — barrels packed with explosives and shrapnel — over the town Saturday. (Via ITV)

The international watchdog group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports at least 90 people were killed Saturday during the air raids, with a further 36 killed on Sunday. The group says the majority of the dead were civilians.

Voice of America points out the bombings could be part of the Assad's regime's push into the Aleppo region, which is currently in the hands of rebel forces. "Analysts are calling the advances the most significant government gains since opposition fighters seized parts of the city in mid-2012."

The news comes just one day after the Geneva 2 peace conference about the Syrian conflict ended with little to show for it. The U.N.'s Syria mediator Lahkdar Brahimi told reporters the discussions had set the stage for future talks.

"The sides have engaged in an acceptable manner. This is a very modest beginning, but it is a beginning on which we can build."

But despite finally getting both sides of the conflict to talk to each other, Geneva 2 failed to produce even the modest milestones negotiators had hoped to reach, like humanitarian relief for war-stricken cities or limited cease-fires. (Via Al Jazeera)

And the U.S. recently censured the Syrian regime for failing to hold up its end of a previous agreement, this one to destroy its stockpiles of chemical weapons. The State Department says that effort has "seriously languished and stalled" with only 4 percent of the country's most deadly chemical weapons destroyed or removed.

At least 100,000 people have been killed and more than nine million displaced over the course of Syria's three year civil war.