Terrified residents fled a new wave of air strikes on rebel-held areas of Syria’s divided city of Aleppo Saturday, as key regime backer Russia rejected calls to rein in its ally.

Aleppo was left out of a new temporary US-Russian brokered truce that appeared to be holding in the regime stronghold of Latakia as well as Damascus and the nearby rebel bastion of Eastern Ghouta.

US Secretary of State John Kerry was to travel Sunday to Geneva in a show of support for the truce and will meet the UN envoy to Syria and the Jordanian and Saudi foreign ministers.

The State Department said his talks will focus on “efforts to reaffirm the cessation of hostilities nationwide in Syria”.

A new round of UN-backed peace talks is set to start on May 10 in Geneva.

In Aleppo’s rebel-held east, dozens of civilians left the battered Bustan al-Qasr district early Saturday, an AFP correspondent said.

“The situation has become unbearable,” Abu Mohammed said as he prepared to flee with his wife and five children. “Everything is paralysed.”

Russia said that it would not ask Damascus to halt air raids on Aleppo.

“No, we are not going to put pressure on (Damascus) because one must understand that the situation in Aleppo is part of this fight against the terrorist threat,” Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said.

Washington has appealed to Moscow to keep President Bashar al-Assad’s regime in check.

Once Syria’s economic hub, Aleppo and its surrounding countryside have suffered some of the worst fighting in a conflict that has killed more than 270,000 people and displaced millions.

Source: Residents flee as air strikes shake Syria’s Aleppo