BEIRUT — Syrian aircraft pummeled opposition areas in the northern city of Aleppo on Sunday, killing at least 32 people and extending the government's furious aerial bombardment of the rebel-held half of the divided city to an eighth consecutive day.
Since it began on Dec. 15, the government's unusually heavy air campaign in Aleppo has killed more than 200 people, smashed residential buildings and overwhelmed the city's hospitals with casualties. The timing of the assault — a month ahead of planned peace talks in Switzerland — suggests that Syrian President Bashar Assad could be trying to strengthen his position and expose the opposition's weaknesses before sitting down at the negotiating table.
Sunday's air raids targeted several Aleppo neighborhoods, but the worse hit was Masaken Hanano, where bombs fell on a second-hand market, a two-story building and a main road, activists said.
The Aleppo Media Center activist group said at least 32 people were killed, and published a list of the names of the dead on its Facebook page. Another group, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said in a later statement that at least 47 people, including seven rebels, were killed and dozens wounded.