A barrel bomb killed 11 children in one of two deadly attacks Thursday in the Syrian city of Aleppo, a monitoring group said.
At least 15 people died when the barrel bomb hit a rebel-held neighborhood in Aleppo, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. The UK-based monitoring group said in addition to the children, four women were killed at Bab al-Nayrab neighborhood.
Amnesty International says barrel bombs are a common tactic of the Syrian regime. The strikes come amid Russia’s agreement to a 48-hour ceasefire and the United Nations’ emphasis on a need for one.
The group also reported eight people were killed Thursday, including two children, when rebels fired mortar rounds into regime-held areas in western Aleppo.
‘I lost five children’
Activists posted videos of the barrel bomb attacks online. CNN cannot independently verify their authenticity.
The videos purportedly taken in the rebel-held area in southern Aleppo show rescuers helping survivors and searching for the missing. Residents dig through rubble, looking for loved ones.
Men and women carry dead children covered with dust, sobbing and crying. In one of the videos, a man sits outside his demolished house, sobbing. “Don’t step over them,” he says, referring to his family members. “I lost my five children, oh God.”
Another video purportedly shows a chaotic scene at the hospital as women, men and children frantically search for their loved ones.
A child lies on a hospital bed in shock as he looks around, covered in dust. Two girls on the ground cry for a lost family member as their father tells them not to look at the carnage.
“Don’t look, turn your eyes away,” he implores.
Mother speaks to dead child
Another video posted by activists in Aleppo shows a woman speaking to her dead child.
“Hassan , it’s your mom,” the mother says as she looks at the child whose eyes are still open.
“He is my son … he is gone,” she screams. “My sons, your brother is dead, your brother is dead.”
She touches his face and closes his eyes.
As the stories of death and destruction come out of Aleppo, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will hold talks in Geneva on Friday that will focus on Syria.
“Unless fighting stops inside, unless those pauses first happen and then become permanent, there’s millions of people that are trapped inside the country and I hate to think what their fate is if we cannot reach them very quickly,” said Filippo Grandi, the UN High commissioner for refugees.