Several dead as 2 suicide bombs hit Syrian city of Hama

EU unveils an aid plan worth $28 million for civilians trapped in the besieged city of Aleppo where Bashar al Assad's forces continue to intensify air strikes.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

The death toll of the double suicide bomb blast in Hama, Syria was not confirmed by SANA news agency.

Conflict continues to escalate in Syria as two suicide blasts target the city of Hama and the Syrian regime continues its offensive on opposition-held parts of Aleppo.

Several people were killed in two suicide bomb blasts in the Syrian regime-held city of Hama on Monday, news agency SANA reported. However, it did not specify the number of casualties.

Citing a police source, SANA said the first bomber blew himself up detonating his explosive belt in a square in Hama's al Hader district, followed 15 minutes later by a second bomber in the same location.

DAESH claimed three suicide bombers from the group had attacked the headquarters of the police and the Baath Party in Hama. But SANA made no mention of a third bomber.

Turkey-backed FSA closing in on Dabiq

Free Syrian Army (FSA), backed by Turkey and a US-led coalition, is closing in on DAESH-held village of Dabiq, located northeast of Aleppo.

"If matters proceed as planned, within 48 hours we will be in Dabiq," Ahmed Osman, commander of the Sultan Murad FSA group, said in a voice recording sent to Reuters.

Turkish warplanes also hit DAESH targets in the areas of Dabiq, Akhtarin and Turkman Bareh, destroying nine buildings including a command post, gun positions and an ammunition depot, a statement by Turkey's military said on Monday.

Air strikes continue in Aleppo

​Syrian regime forces, backed by allies, have advanced in Aleppo, pursuing its week-long assault to gain control of the opposition-held part of the city.

The regime carried out overnight air strikes and told the opposition fighters to leave their positions, offering safe passage and aid supplies.

Damaged buildings like the ones seen in a photograph of al-Rai, a town in northern Aleppo, are evidence of a mounting air and ground war which continues to ravage country. [Reuters]

A ground operation was launched by Bashar al Assad's forces against the besieged eastern half of Aleppo, where opposition fighters have been holding out. The push to take over the city was intensified after a US-Russia brokered ceasefire collapsed last month.

US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov once again spoke on the phone to discuss normalisation of the situation in war-torn Syria.

However, Britain said the bombing of hospitals by the regime and forces loyal to it has made it impossible to talk about peace.

"It is the continuing savagery of the Assad regime against the people of Aleppo and the complicity of the Russians in committing what are patently war crimes - bombing hospitals, when they know they are hospitals and nothing but hospitals - that is making it impossible for peace negotiations to resume," British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said on Sunday regime forces had advanced south from Handarat refugee camp, taking Kindi hospital and parts of the Shuqaif industrial area.

Kindi Hospital and an industrial area also fell to Assad's forces as airstrikes and ground assault continue in Aleppo. [AFP]

The SOHR said the air strikes and shelling continued on Sunday and there was fierce fighting all along the front line which cuts the city in two.

EU proposes Aleppo aid plan

The European Union (EU) on Sunday unveiled an aid plan for tens of thousands of civilians trapped in Syria's war-ravaged city of Aleppo.

The EU said in a statement it was unlocking 25 million euros ($28 million) of funding to help its humanitarian partners in Syria for "urgent medical, water and sanitation, and food assistance in Aleppo and in other priority areas."

The bloc will work in collaboration with the United Nations to provide "basic life-saving assistance to civilians in (opposition-held) East Aleppo," EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini and humanitarian commissioner Christos Stylianides said in the statement.

In September, an aid convoy west of Aleppo was hit and destroyed, killing around 20 people.

Damaged aid trucks are pictured after an airstrike on the opposition-held Urm al-Kubra town, western Aleppo city. [Reuters]

Attacks damage hospitals

On Saturday, the largest trauma and intensive care centre in eastern Aleppo was badly damaged by air strikes and had to close. Two patients were killed.

A damaged field hospital room is seen after airstrikes in an opposition-held area in Aleppo, Syria October 1, 2016. [Reuters]

The Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS), which partly supported the hospital, said the hospital had been hit seven times since July, with three attacks this week alone.

"The situation in Aleppo is beyond dire ... People are stuck under the rubble and we can't get to them because of the intensity of the shelling. We are pleading for help to stop the bombing," said Mohamed Abu Rajab, a SAMS nurse at the hospital.

SAMS said only five hospitals remained operational in eastern Aleppo.

TRTWorld and agencies