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  1. ITV Report

'New Holocaust' in Syria as bombs kill dozens in Aleppo

Video report by ITV News International Affairs Editor Rageh Omaar

Aleppo experienced its heaviest bombardment in months on Wednesday as a local doctor warned Syria's war was turning into the "new Holocaust".

Shelling by warplanes in rebel-held areas of the city left at least 45 people dead as a US plea to halt flights was spurned.

Incendiary bombs and, locals believe, phosphorous attacks rained down on the city between midday and midnight - one which hit a hospital.

Hopes that a week-long ceasefire could be revived now appear dashed, while President Bashar al-Assad claimed the US was "not genuine" about ceasing hostilities.

Meanwhile the Syrian Army has announced the start of a new major offensive in rebel-held eastern Aleppo and called on residents to avoid rebel outposts.

A girl is left injured by the latest bombardment Credit: Reuters

One local doctor told ITV News after the latest bombardment that the world was experiencing the "new Holocaust" in Syria.

"You are all like witnesses to the New Holocaust happening in the 21st century without interventions to stop it", he said.

"We must continue to help all our innocent people living here... they are waiting for death or for the killing to stop".

At least 45 people were killed in Aleppo by the airstrike Credit: Reuters

"You are all like witnesses to the New Holocaust happening in the 21st century without interventions to stop it", he said.

"We must continue to help all our innocent people living here... they are waiting for death or for the killing to stop".

Mohammed Edel, a local teacher who saw the attacks first hand, told ITV News he and his pregnant wife saw flames engulf a housing block next to his.

"We started to hear the sounds of the warplanes in the sky, I expected something bad to happen...", he said.

"Imagine (thinking) that your wife of two years is about to die.

"Imagine the panic and fear of the people who are coming out of their buildings and getting out of their homes to travel to somewhere safer than here - but nowhere is safe here, no safety at all".

Ammar al-Selmo, head of the civil defence rescue service in eastern Aleppo, said it felt as if planes tried to "compensate" for the days they hadn't dropped bombs.

"It was like there was coordination between the planes and the artillery shelling, because the shells were hitting the same locations that the planes hit", he said.

Abdulkafi Alhamdo, a local professor, said: "Tomorrow, the world will forget this. They will not remember a people burnt by all weapons."

John Kerry pleaded for a halt to flights across Aleppo Credit: Reuters

On Wednesday, US Secretary of State John Kerry warned Russia and the UN that stopping the bombardment was the last chance to find a way "out of the carnage".

But on the same day, President al-Assad indicated he saw no quick end to the war.

He maintained the conflict would "drag on" as long as Syria was part of a global conflict in which terrorists were backed by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and the US.

The latest airstrikes appear to have been carried by the Syrian government or Russian aircraft, locals claim.

Hopes for a revival to a week-long ceasefire appear scuppered Credit: Reuters

Two million people are caught up in the battle for the Aleppo, which has been split since 2012 between government forces and rebel groups.

A week-long truce, broken on Monday by an attack on an aid convoy, was designed to allow humanitarian access to people trapped in the city.

Rami Adbulrahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said Wednesday's airstrikes were the heaviest "for months".

There was no immediate comment from the Syrian military or mention on state media of the bombing.