In the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, a residential building collapsed on Sunday, killing thirteen people. According to state media, rescuers are still looking for victims who may be buried beneath the debris.
According to government officials quoted by state media, a five-story building in Syria’s second largest city’s Sheikh Maksoud neighbourhood collapsed as a result of water leaks that weakened its foundation.
It is just one of many structures in Aleppo that have collapsed in recent years. Up until the rebels were driven out six years ago, Aleppo was the target of intense aerial bombing campaigns by Russia and Syria.
Residents claim that numerous internally displaced Syrians have been relocated during the more than ten-year conflict to damaged buildings because there hasn’t been a systematic reconstruction of residential areas and because state services are still scarce.
President Bashar al-Assad is accused by the opposition of punishing locals by cutting off services in areas where a rebellion against him broke out.
Renovating buildings that have been damaged by war is frequently done and paid for by locals, according to residents.
The government attributes the war and Western sanctions for the slow recovery and hardship. It has asserted that it works to restore regular services to all areas and has denied treating recaptured areas differently from those that were under its control throughout the war.