ADDS US REACTION
By Halit Suleyman
ALEPPO, Syria (AA) – Fifteen victims were killed and another 20 injured in attacks Wednesday by Syrian regime helicopters in an opposition-held area of the northwestern province of Aleppo, a local civil defense official said.
"Syrian regime helicopters struck Aleppo city’s Al-Shaar neighborhood with barrel bombs," according to Necip Ensari.
Ensari said regime helicopters dropped three barrel bombs in an area that contains a hospital and a marketplace.
Ensari added that women and children were among the casualties and that the hospital had been rendered inoperable by the attack.
He added that rescue workers were now in the process of searching for survivors buried under the rubble of destroyed buildings.
The U.S. strongly condemned the "unconscionable" bombings, saying it was an act of the Syrian regime.
Asked about the U.S. reaction to Syrian President Bashar Assad's latest statement that there was only a military solution for Syria, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said Assad was "sadly mistaken" in his thoughts.
"He's carried out horrific violence against his own people," he said. "So, you know, it's not surprising that he's still fully committed to what he believes is a military victory."
Barrel bombs are improvised containers packed with shrapnel and explosive material.
Usually dropped from army helicopters, the low-cost munitions are believed to have killed thousands of people since the Syria conflict began in 2011.