State media reported that Syrian rebels shelled a mosque in a government-held area of Aleppo, killing at least 15 people and wounding 30 others.
The attack struck the Malla Khan mosque in the Bab al-Faraj neighborhood where several rockets hit the mosque and its surroundings as worshippers were leaving Friday prayers according to Syrian State TV.
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The shelling comes after government airstrikes on rebel-held parts of Aleppo were reported shortly after a morning lull had engulfed the contested city, following days of deadly violence that killed scores.
Airstrikes late on Wednesday destroyed a hospital and killed dozens of people in rebel-held areas of Aleppo, including children and doctors, in an attack that a U.S. official said appeared to be solely the work of the Syrian government.
Russia and Syria have both dismissed accusations that their warplanes had targeted the hospital with Moscow suggesting that the US-led coalition was instead responsible for the incident.
Violence over the past week has killed at least 202 civilians across rebel- and government-held areas of Aleppo, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Friday.
The Syrian army has declared a “regime of calm” — a temporary truce — for the capital, Damascus, and its suburbs, and the coastal province of Latakia, but not for the contested northern city of Aleppo.
What impact the unilateral declaration would have was not immediately clear. It’s unlikely the opposition would abide by it after days of government airstrikes and bombardments killed dozens.
The ceasefire will go into effect at 1 a.m. on Saturday, according to a military statement read on Syrian state TV. The statement says it will last 24 hours in Damascus and its suburbs and three days in Latakia.
Meanwhile, the UN human rights chief suggested Friday that escalating violence across Syria could release new levels of horror, saying all parties have shown a “monstrous disregard” for civilian lives.
“The cessation of hostilities and the Geneva talks were the only game in town, and if they are abandoned now, I dread to think how much more horror we will see in Syria,” Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said in a statement, urging all sides to step back from a return to all-out war.
“The violence is soaring back to the levels we saw prior to the cessation of hostilities. There are deeply disturbing reports of military build-ups indicating preparations for a lethal escalation,” Zeid said.
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