Russian air strikes kill nearly 1,400 civilians in Syria

Russian air strikes kill nearly 1,400 civilians in Syria, monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says in report

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

A boy inspects his school, damaged in what activists said was an air strike carried out yesterday by the Russian air force in Injara town, Aleppo countryside, Syria January 12, 2016.

Updated Feb 2, 2016

The monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported on Saturday that Russian air strikes have killed nearly 1,400 civilians in Syria.

A statistic released by the Syrian Civil Defence Authority stated last month that civilian casualties had reached more than 1,800.

A coalition of Syria’s main opposition groups heading to Geneva peace talks on Saturday have demanded a stop to Russian air strikes, which have killed mostly civilians in rebel held areas, as a prerequisite for participating in talks with the Syrian regime.

Russia ignored their demands and bombed a refugee camp in a village called Obin in Syria, situated four kilometers away from the Turkish border at 0930GMT on Saturday.

The location was also targeted last year by Russian jets, Syrian Turkmen Assembly leader Abdurrahman Mustafa told Turkish media sources.

Russian jets bombed Turkmen areas close to the Turkish border in "an intense way," said Sadettin Molla, editorial coordinator for the Bayirbucak News Agency, while reporting about the bombing of Obin last year.

"Four or five Russian jets hit the area at the same time," he told Anadolu Agency. "Mosques, schools, bridges and civilians are deliberately targeted and fifty people, including women and children, were killed."

The Syrian civil war has claimed more than 260,000 lives since it started in 2011, according to the SOHR.

Russia began its aerial campaign in Syria on September 30 to support its ally, Syrian regime leader Bashar al Assad, titling the war in Assad’s favour ever since.

US President Barack Obama announced November last year during an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Manila that "Assad must go" for the civil war in Syria to end, and called on the two main allies of Bashar al Assad, Russia and Iran, to decide whether they want to "save the Syrian State" or prop up the Assad regime.

Although Moscow says it is targeting DAESH terrorists, residents and opposition groups say that Russian air strikes are causing thousands of casualties through the illegal bombing of civilian areas away from the frontline.

TRTWorld and agencies