Russian air strikes kill at least 55 in northwest Syria

More than 55 civilians killed and dozens wounded due to Russian air strikes targeting market place in opposition-held town of Ariha in northwest Syria

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

A man covers his nose as he walks along a damaged site hit by missiles fired by Assad forces on a busy marketplace in the Douma neighborhood of Damascus, Syria October 30, 2015.

Updated Nov 30, 2015

Air strikes that have been conducted by a Russian fighter jet killed more than 55 people, including women and children, and wounded dozens more on Sunday in the opposition-controlled town of Ariha in the province of Idlib located in northwest Syria.

Local news channel Ariha Youm stated that a Russian fighter jet used cluster bombs in the attack.  

The pro-opposition Orient TV also stated from its on-ground sources an initial death toll report of at least 55 civilians with more than 70 wounded. However, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) monitor group reported that both the killed and wounded amounted to at least 60 people. 

The air strikes targeted a crowded market place in the town including several other areas, rescue operations are under way as the death toll keeps increasing due to the fact that many injured are in critical condition, both SOHR and Orient reported. 

The Russian Defence Ministry has not made any immediate comments over the attack.

Since Sept. 30, the Russian Air Force has been conducting aerial bombardments on Syrian territories with the aim of targeting DAESH, however, critics have stated that most of the Russian air strikes have been targeting opposition-held territories in an attempt to bolster Syrian regime leader Bashar al Assad’s presence in Syria.

The province of Idlib, in which Ariha is located, is not a stronghold of DAESH terrorist group.

Forces loyal to Assad withdrew from Ariha in May as an alliance of opposition fighting factions advanced in Idlib in a battle that resulted in the entire province falling under control of the opposition group.

TRTWorld and agencies