More than 37 people including 10 children were killed in Aleppo and Idlib in northern and northwestern Syria on Wednesday due to Syrian regime air strikes, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).
At least 16 people were killed in Tal Rifaat in Aleppo, eight of them children, after regime helicopters dropped at least four explosive-filled barrel bombs, according to the Britain-based SOHR.
In the rebel-held neighborhoods of Jeb Al Qubbah east of the city of Aleppo another barrel-bomb killed at least nine civilians, two of them children, the SOHR reported.
Moreover, in Idlib eight members of one family were killed after a barrel bomb attacked the town of Kafr Sijna on Wednesday.
The Observatory, which depends on a network of sources on the ground, said the death toll is expected to rise as many of the injured are in a critical condition.
Syrian President Bashar al Assad earlier denied that his forces are using barrel bombs or chemical weapons against rebel held areas.
On Wednesday the Human Rights Watch (HRW) said it had investigated three regime attacks on Idlib province, in which two people were killed and 127 others were injured. The New York-based HRW said the toxic chemical chlorine was likely used in some of the attacks.
“The Syrian government has used barrel bombs with toxic chemicals for more than a year while the (UN) Security Council has failed to act,” said Philippe Bolopion, HRW’s UN and crisis advocacy director.
At least 220,000 people have been killed since the start of war in Syria in March 2011 according to United Nations estimates. More than 6.7 million people are internally displaced within Syria while about 4 million have fled the country since the civil war began in 2011.