>> Another child pulled from the rubble of Aleppo as Russian and Syrian warplanes pursue a week long offensive to vanquish rebel held parts of the city. A massacre was how a top EU official described the strikes on Thursday, accusations of war crimes mounting. The jets knocked out of action two of the few hospitals left in rebel held eastern Aleppo on Wednesday.
Hundreds of injured people are believed to be trapped there, among a quarter of a million people living under siege. The battle for Aleppo begun in 2012, but Reuters Angus McDowall in Beirut says this offensive is unusually ferocious with even more impact on residents.>> Unlike in the past the rebel-held parts of the city are now besieged entirely by government forces.
And that means that when these air strikes become particularly heavy, the people living in rebel-held areas can't simply get up and walk away, leave for other parts of the country.>> But how to stop the onslaught's the question. Washington weighing a tough response against Russia, already under sanctions over Ukraine.
Russia vowed on Thursday to press on saying, like Damascus, that they're only targeting militants. The Syrian army has chipped a few outlying areas from the rebel controlled east over the past few days.>> There still have not been many out and out territorial gains, at least significant ones on the part of Syria's army and it's allies.
Whether that means that the rebels are proving a tougher fighting force than have been anticipated. Whether it's simply a question of the army holding off until bombardment has greater effect, is not yet clear.>> What is clear is that the Syrian army is in no mood for backing down, its eye on a prize that if seized, would be a turning point in a long and deadly civil war.