Agonizing wait for injured trapped in Aleppo as Assad's army advances

Wounded trapped in Aleppo
Wounded trapped in Aleppo 01:44

ALEPPO, Syria -- CBS News correspondent Elizabeth Palmer is inside the sprawling city of Aleppo in northern Syria, where the relentless campaign of bombing and shelling that had eased off a little during the past week, was back in full swing, and where Syrian soldiers and their allies are also pressing forward on the ground.

Weeks of punishing airstrikes killed hundreds of people, and have also left many seriously wounded --including children -- trapped inside the city’s besieged, rebel-held neighborhoods. After several days of reduced airstrikes, the heavy bombing by Russian planes resumed Tuesday morning in eastern Aleppo, the rebels’ stronghold, according to activist and opposition groups.

The United Nations and the non-profit group Doctors Without Borders are both pushing hard for a ceasefire to allow the injured out of the city.

Warplanes striking Aleppo 01:28

Palmer reports that scores of people, having received only the most basic treatment -- often under fire at makeshift or poorly supplied clinics -- now wait for a diplomatic agreement to save their lives. 

But so far the Syrians and the Russians have refused, in part over demands from the U.S. and other countries that any ceasefire include a mandatory halt to military flights over the embattled city.

In some areas the fighting still rages, and the Syrians and their allies are slowly gaining ground.

No one really knows how many civilians there are still living in the ruins of eastern Aleppo. The U.N. estimates its more than 200,000.

Astonishingly, in spite of the damage, basic services like water and power are still running -- if sporadically. But there’s not a lot left to eat, especially for the poorest families who are surviving on little more than rice and pasta.  

The diplomatic process -- already torpedoed in the short term by Russia and the U.S. suspending formal negotiations on a political solution -- was dealt a further blow Tuesday as reports said Russian President Vladimir Putin had cancelled an upcoming trip to Paris.

French leader Francois Hollande said Monday he would keep his scheduled meeting with Putin on October 19, but only if it was to be a “working” session to discuss Syria. Putin declined to accept that revised invitation and was postponing his visit to France.