File - A man helps children out of a damaged building following a Syrian government airstrike in Aleppo.
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With global attention focused on the fight against jihadists, Syria's regime has in recent weeks stepped up its use of deadly barrel bomb strikes, killing civilians and wreaking devastation.The Observatory, which documents casualties and strikes, relying on a broad network of activists and doctors across the war-torn country, said at least 232 civilians have been killed in regime air strikes, including barrel bomb attacks, since Oct. 20 .Observatory director Rami Abdel-Rahman said the number of barrel bomb attacks is now "much higher" than a fortnight ago.The regime began using barrel bombs in late 2012, but stepped up its attacks this year, with a wave of raids in February alone killing hundreds of people.The government denies using barrel bombs, and says it only targets "terrorists".The U.S. and its mainly Gulf allies began airstrikes against jihadist positions in Syria last month, but there has been no question of extending the strikes against Assad's regime.
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