Block of flats collapses in Aleppo, killing eleven

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

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State media on Saturday reported a war-damaged five-storey block of flats collapsed in a former rebel-held neighbourhood of Aleppo, Syria. The accident in Salaheddin district killed eleven, with a child the sole survivor.

File photo of a Free Syrian Army soldier in Aleppo.
Image: Voice of America.

The district was recaptured by the state in 2016 following heavy bombing, in an operation supported by Russia. Little reconstruction has taken place, with such reconstruction efforts as have occurred, by the state, focused on infrastructure. According to AFP, other buildings in Salaheddin are similarly close to collapse.

Rescuers, some using only their hands, dug out the surviving child. Buildings around the collapsed block bear damage from the ongoing conflict. The survivor was rescued from beneath broken breeze blocks.

The United States, which has retreated from a previous goal of ousting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has stated reconstruction will cost between US$300 and 400 billion. The US has further indicated no support will come without political reform in Syria. Satellite imaging from 2017, from the United Nations, suggests Aleppo contained 35,000 war-damaged structures at that time.

China, Iran, and Russia have pledged funds and Syria is taxing certain goods toward the cost of reconstruction.