Intense air raids shook Aleppo in Syria yesterday as increasing tensions between Moscow and Washington poisoned efforts to revive a failed ceasefire.
In the devastated city, bombs pummelled opposition-held districts and its outskirts.
Four medics were killed and a nurse critically wounded when an air strike hit a clinic in a village near Aleppo late on Tuesday.
The Union of Syrian Medical Relief Organisations said the clinic in the village of Khan Tuman had been completely levelled in the late-night strike and more dead were feared to be buried under the rubble.
The World Heath Organisation says Syria is the most dangerous country in the world for health workers, with 135 strikes on clinics and hospitals last year.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said dozens of raids had hit the city’s east overnight, as regime troops advanced in Aleppo’s southwestern outskirts.
It was a sleepless night for many residents, with the bombardment continuing until rain broke out over the city at dawn.
In the rebel-held neighbourhood of Sukkari, Abu Ahmad cleared rubble and shattered glass from his doorstep after bombardments demolished the six-storey building next door, killing his neighbours.
He had tea with two brothers who lived in the building late the previous night.
“Just an hour after I left, a missile destroyed their whole building and they both died under the r ubble,” Ahmad said.
Syrian state media reported that the city’s government-held west had come under rebel shelling, which killed two people.
Meanwhile, the Red Cross said that a strike on an aid convoy near Aleppo on Monday had killed 20 civilians and destroyed 18 trucks.
The attack forced the United Nations to suspend all humanitarian convoys across Syria.
“There could only have been two entities responsible, either the Syrian regime or the Russian government , ” President Barack Obama’s national security spokesman Ben Rhodes said.
“In any event, we hold the Russian government responsible for air strikes in this space.”
Two Russian SU-24 ground attack jets were operating in the area where the aid convoy was struck, another US official said.
But the Russian foreign ministry said the unsubstantiated, hasty accusations seemed designed to distract attention from the killing of dozens of Syrian troops by the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group.
Washington said the attack had been a mistake.