Government offensive in Aleppo comes as Russia also announces large-scale operation against opposition targets in Syria. Aleppo has become the fiercest front in Syria's five-and-a-half-year war, pitting President Bashar al-Assad, supported by Russia, Iran and Shia militias, against Sunni rebels, including groups backed by Turkey, the United States and Gulf monarchies.
In the northwestern province of Idlib, a member of the Jund al-Aqsa group, known as Abu-Dardaa-al-Shami, told the Associated Press news agency over the phone that the air strikes were "much, much, much more intense than previous ones". He added that in addition to the air raids, ballistic missiles hit the province near the town of Saraqeb.
Western countries and human rights activists have accused the air forces of the Damascus government and its Russian ally of repeatedly targeting hospitals, bread lines and other civilian infrastructure in territory controlled by the rebels.