It seemed a small miracle when 3-year-old Hassan emerged unharmed from underneath the rubble of his bombarded house in Syria's Aleppo. On Monday, a Syrian army helicopter had reduced the three-story compound to mere dust, killing the toddler's parents, his cousins and all of his siblings.

Residents told GlobalPost they had found the boy cradled in his mother's lifeless arms. Her embrace had protected him from the falling concrete.

Syrian security forces have pounded Aleppo for weeks in an attempt to drive out opposition fighters. Reuters reported that the army's brutal shelling has failed to crush the rebel forces, however, with both sides locked in a stalemate for control of the city's rebel neighborhoods.

Activists estimate more than 26,000 people have lost their lives since the start of the Syrian conflict in March 2011, including 18,500 civilians.

Earlier this week, U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon warned that foreign arms sales are aggravating the crisis. "This conflict has taken a particularly brutal turn," Ban said, according to Reuters. "The continuing militarization of the conflict is deeply tragic and highly dangerous," he added.

Watch Tracy Shelton's report from Aleppo in the video above or read more on GlobalPost.

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  • Tawfiq Hassan

    Syrian rebel fighter, Tawfiq Hassan, 23, a former butcher, poses for a picture, after returning from fighting against Syrian army forces in Aleppo, at a rebel headquarters in Marea, on the outskirts of Aleppo city, Syria, on Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)

  • Abu Hammam

    Syrian rebel fighter, Abu Hammam, 23, a former member of the Syrian security forces, poses for a picture, after returning from fighting against Syrian army forces in Aleppo, at a rebel headquarters in Marea, on the outskirts of Aleppo city, Syria, on Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)

  • Ali Alnajjr

    Syrian rebel fighter, Ali Alnajjr, 20, a former school student, poses for a picture, after returning from fighting against Syrian army forces in Aleppo, at a rebel headquarters in Marea, on the outskirts of Aleppo city, Syria, Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)

  • Saqir Abu Zahid

    Syrian rebel fighter, who goes by the name Saqir Abu Zahid, 22, a former University student, poses for a picture after returning from fighting Syrian forces in Aleppo at a rebel headquarters in Marea, on the outskirts of Aleppo city, Syria, on Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)

  • Mohammed Yaseen

    Syrian rebel fighter, Mohammed Yaseen, 24, a former construction worker, poses for a picture, after returning from fighting against Syrian army forces in Aleppo, at a rebel headquarters in Marea, on the outskirts of Aleppo city, Syria, on Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)

  • Mustafa Abu Shaheen

    Syrian rebel fighter, Mustafa Abu Shaheen, 19, a former construction worker, poses for a picture after returning from fighting against Syrian army forces in Aleppo, at a rebel headquarters in Marea, on the outskirts of Aleppo city, Syria, on Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)

  • Mohammed Sami

    Syrian rebel fighter, Mohammed Sami, 22, a barber, poses for a picture after returning from fighting against Syrian army forces in Aleppo, at a rebel headquarters in Marea, on the outskirts of Aleppo city, Syria, on Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)

  • Ahmed Al-Saleh

    Syrian rebel fighter, Ahmed Al-Saleh, 22, a former policeman, poses for a picture after returning from fighting against Syrian army forces in Aleppo, at a rebel headquarters in Marea, on the outskirts of Aleppo city, Syria, on Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)

  • Wisam Al-Saleh

    Syrian rebel fighter, Wisam Al-Saleh, 21, poses for a picture, after returning back from fighting against Syrian army forces in Aleppo, at a rebel headquarters in Marea, on the outskirts of Aleppo city, Syria, Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)

  • Mohammed Abu Razouk

    Syrian rebel fighter, Mohammed Abu Razouk, 27, poses for a picture, after returning back from fighting against Syrian army forces in Aleppo, at a rebel headquarters in Marea, on the outskirts of Aleppo city, Syria, on Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)

  • Badir Farouh

    Syrian rebel fighter, Badir Farouh, 17, poses for a picture after returning from fighting against Syrian forces in Aleppo at a rebel headquarters in Marea, on the outskirts of Aleppo city, Syria, on Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)

  • Badir Farouh

    Syrian rebel fighter, Badir Farouh, 17, poses for a picture after returning from fighting against Syrian forces in Aleppo at a rebel headquarters in Marea, on the outskirts of Aleppo city, Syria, on Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)

  • Amir Hajji

    Syrian rebel fighter, Amir Hajji, 20, poses for a picture, after returning back from fighting against Syrian army forces in Aleppo, at a rebel headquarters in Marea, on the outskirts of Aleppo city, Syria, on Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)