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Executive Summary for April 26th

We review the key developments in Syria, including the death of 60 civilians during clashes in Aleppo over the past three days, the death of five rescue workers from the Syria Civil Defense and a new 850 million euro deal between Syria and Russia.

Published on April 26, 2016 Read time Approx. 2 minutes

60 Casualties in Aleppo in 3 Days: Monitor

Three days of intensive shelling and airstrikes in Aleppo have left nearly 60 people dead, according to U.K.-based watchdog the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, as fighting escalates across the country.

Seven children and 10 women were among those killed by government airstrikes and rebel shelling since Friday, as the uptick in fighting steadily collapses February’s landmark cease-fire deal.

Government jets heavily bombarded rebel-held areas of Aleppo on Friday morning, killing 45 people, according to the monitor.

Rebel fire, including the use of homemade rockets and shells, killed another 15 people – including three children and four women – on the western, government-held side of the city.

Although fighting had diminished by Monday, rebel groups continued to fire shells into government-held areas, according to Reuters and the Observatory.

Airstrikes Target and Kill Five Rescue Workers in Aleppo

Five members of the Syria Civil Defense unit – also known as the White Helmets – were killed in an overnight airstrike on the rebel-held town of Atareb in western Aleppo.

Monitoring groups and surviving members of the unit said the attacks on the center were deliberate, and consisted of three direct hits – two airstrikes and one rocket.

The White Helmets is a group of first responders in rebel-held areas where medical infrastructure has completely collapsed. Their primary focus is to rescue civilians trapped in rubble after airstrikes and shelling.

“The targeting was very precise,” Radi Saad, a Civil Defense worker based in northwestern Syria, told Reuters.

“They were in the center and ready to respond,” he added, “when they heard warplanes in the area they did not think they would be the target”.

The strikes injured two other workers and destroyed cars and ambulances belonging to the unit.

Neither the Russian nor Syrian government has released statements on the raid.

Syria, Russia Sign 850 Million Euro Deal to Restore Infrastructure

Russia and Bashar al-Assad’s government have signed two agreements on Monday worth 850 million euros to begin projects aimed at restoring infrastructure across the war-torn country, Reuters reports.

“The Russian side were receptive to the idea of restoring infrastructure, accordingly a number of deals were signed,” Syrian prime minister Wael al-Halqi told RIA, Russia’s state-run media agency.

The restoration deal will begin with the Tishreen-3 power plant in Damascus, a project the government has already received the proper funds to begin, according to Arabic language news website Enab Baladi.

Al-Halqi said the Syrian government is waiting to receive funds to sponsor restorations in fields of agriculture and power.

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