Artillery barrage kills many displaced in Aleppo

He said numerous fleeing civilians fear revenge attacks, amid reports of arrests from people living in government-held areas.

Rycroft said the council would discuss plans for the United Nations to deliver much-needed food and medicine into Aleppo and evacuate the sick and wounded.

Observatory chief Rami Abdurrahman said he predicts death tolls will rise in east Aleppo as the internal displacement creates more residential density.

The Syrian government pushed its way into the 45-square kilometer (17 square miles) rebel-held enclave over the weekend, making its first territorial gain in the area seized by the opposition fighters since 2012. On Tuesday, at least 1,200 rebel fighters and their families were evacuated out of a besieged rebel area near Damascus to the rebel stronghold of Idlib province as part of a deal struck between local leaders and the regime in order to bring it back under government control.

Aleppo is seen as a vital strategic prize for the Syrian government as it is the last city still holding out against President Assad's regime and it controls trade and military supply routes to Turkey.

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"Up to 16,000 people have been displaced, many into uncertain and precarious situations", he said in a statement.

The official, speaking to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity in line with regulations, denied any arbitrary detentions or revenge attacks took place during the influx of displaced, dismissing such reports as a distraction from his troops' swift success in penetrating rebel defenses.

Mrs May said Britain was working with France to bring forward UN Security Council talks aimed at ending hostilities, adding that Russian Federation had a role to play in diplomatic efforts to exert pressure on the Syrian leader.

O'Brien said Tuesday the deteriorating situation in Aleppo was "deeply alarming and chilling".

The Al-Watan daily, which is close to the government, said the army had begun the "second phase" of its operation, pushing south after capturing the northeast of the city.

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The U.N. has food for 150,000 people ready in western Aleppo but it still can not reach roughly 200,000 who remain in the enclave, where food stocks have run out and surgery is being done in basements without anaesthetic, de Mistura's humanitarian adviser Jan Egeland said. The footage showed body parts strewn along a road full of debris, and families grieving over the corpses of their relatives as rescue workers attended to them.

Abdulkafi Alhamdo, a teacher who has remained in rebel-held Aleppo, said numerous displaced have squatted in his almost empty apartment building.

"Upon arrival Russian military medics will start providing medical assistance to civilians and refugees near Aleppo", the Defense Ministry said. "They are likely to attempt an assault on the southern front", al-Youssef said.

Britain and France are also seeking a Security Council resolution aimed at ensuring that members of president Bashar Assad's Syrian regime who are involved in using chemical weapons are punished.

O'Brien said he faced the persistent question as he traveled - "Why on Earth can the Security Council not come together to unite to put a stop to this suffering?"

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