Aleppo, which has endured more carnage than any Syrian city in recent months, was hammered again on Wednesday with three suicide car bombings that killed dozens of people and leveled at least one large building.
The fight for the city has left Aleppo split in half, with the government controlling the west and the rebels holding the east.
Wednesday’s bombings took place just moments apart and took place in and around the main Saadallah al-Jabiri Square, an area controlled by the government, The Associated Press reported.
The type of attack and the location suggested the rebels were responsible, and Syria’s state-run SANA news agency blamed “terrorists,” the AP added.
As rescuers searched, the death toll continued to climb. Reuters reported at least 40 dead and 90 wounded.
Aleppo is Syria’s largest city and its commercial center. Until a couple months ago, little fighting took place in and around the city. But it became a major battleground this summer.
Over the weekend, hundreds of shops in the city’s ancient, covered market were destroyed by a fire touched off by the fighting. Despite the heavy battles, there has not been a conclusive outcome. The same appears true in the larger battle for Syria.
As NPR’s Kelly McEvers noted during a recent reporting trip to northern Syria, President Bashar Assad previously “downplayed efforts to oust him as conspiracies by terrorists sponsored by the U.S. and Israel.” Now, Kelly says, Assad seems to be acknowledging that “that not only is he fighting for his survival, but that it might not come too easily.”