aleppo
Top UN human rights official condemns Aleppo bombings Pictured: A view shows what is believed to be one of the roads that people would have to use to access one of the safe exit points opened for people wishing to leave rebel-held areas, in Aleppo's Bustan al-Qasr, Syria October 20, 2016Reuters

On Sunday night, the residents of Aleppo received a text message telling them to flee the city or die. Most couldn't, trapped between anti-Assad rebels and the Russian-backed Syrian government forces.

The warning, however, was ominous, and on Tuesday night, the portents came true.

Warplanes carried out heavy airstrikes on neighborhoods in rebel-held east Aleppo for the first time in weeks Tuesday, as Syrian government forces launched a renewed assault to take the city.

At least one woman was killed and five people injured by a barrel bomb dropped by a helicopter Tuesday, an activist with the Aleppo Media Center (AMC) told CNN.

According to Syrian state television, the army is making a ground push in several areas to tighten their siege of rebel-held neighborhoods, and has cut off supply lines from the rebel-held province of Idlib in the north.

One anchor referred to today's airstrikes as "zero hour" for a wide-scale assault on terrorism across the country, including airstrikes by the Russian Air Force, CNN reported.

The offensive began hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President-elect Donald Trump discussed Syria over the phone and agreed on the need to combine efforts in the fight against what the Kremlin called their No. 1 enemy — "international terrorism and extremism."

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in a meeting with Putin on Tuesday that the operation involves the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, which made a much-publicized trip to Syria's shores last month. He said Russian warplanes will target ammunition depots, training camps and armaments factories in the rebel-held province of Idlib and the central province of Homs. He did not immediately mention Aleppo.

Meanwhile, Syrian activists reported strikes in all three places — Idlib, Homs and Aleppo.

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