After a respite, Aleppo descends further into chaos

DAMASCUS The sounds of failed diplomacy thundered across Syria’s largest city.

As diplomats in New York tried to revive a cease-fire, Russian and Syrian warplanes pounded a rebel-held area of Aleppo, killing nearly a hundred people.

In the rubble of one of Aleppo’s shattered buildings, Syrian rescue workers scraped away debris to uncover a little girl’s ponytail. Presumably she was dead, but amazingly there was a sign of life.

Five-year old Rawan Alowsh survived the attack that smashed her family’s home long enough to get medical help.

But her father, sisters and a brother all died.

Since Monday night, shells and bombs have pounded eastern Aleppo, home to 250,000 people.

It’s the start of the Syrian Army’s new offensive -- backed by Russia -- to re-take the opposition-controlled neighborhoods.

After the air assault, the military says ground troops will move in.

Horrifying as they are now -- conditions in rebel-held Aleppo look set to get even worse.

And for every survivor, like a tiny baby pulled from the debris, there are heart-wrenching scenes such as one man weeping over his dead son’s body.

The ramped-up violence will leave scores more lifeless bodies, shattered homes and broken hearts.

In spite of the Aleppo offensive, the Russians are still saying that they -- along with the Americans -- remain committed to resurrecting the ceasefire which right now appears to be all but dead.

  • Elizabeth Palmer

    Elizabeth Palmer has been a CBS News correspondent since August 2000. She has been based in London since late 2003, after having been based in Moscow (2000-03). Palmer reports primarily for the "CBS Evening News."