fensive and counteroffensive in Aleppo, Syrian government forces seizing a rebel-held refugee camp over the weekend, then being expelled by a rebel fight back. Meanwhile, much of the city has been reduced to rubble, that as waves of air strikes pound rebel-held areas. Russian and Syrian jets attacking relentlessly.
In hospitals, or what's left of them, medics struggle to treat a constant flow of casualties. Residents claim the latest death toll is in the thousands. It's a picture of carnage and despair just days after a ceasefire attempt collapsed. Western powers blame Russia, saying it was behind the attack on an aid convoy that brought down the ceasefire.
At the UN, the language was undiplomatic.>> What Russia is sponsoring and doing is not counterterrorism, it is barbarism.>> It is difficult to deny that Russia is partnering with the Syrian regime to carry out war crimes.>> Russia strongly denies the accusation. It says a robust approach is the only way to stop Islamic State and other militants.
The country's UN Ambassador calling peace an almost impossible task. Instead, Moscow and Damascus seem to be aiming for decisive gains on the battlefield. Rebels say that makes it impossible for them to accept Russia as a partner in any new peace initiative. They accuse Russian-backed Syrian forces of using napalm and chemical weapons.
For ordinary Syrians, the outlook has never been worse.