Scores killed from Russian air strikes in northern Syria

Russian air strikes kill more than 34 civilians, half of them women and children, in three Syrian areas, SOHR reports

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Aftermath following Russian airstrike on a town near northern Syrian province of Aleppo

Updated Dec 20, 2015

More than 34 civilians, half of them women and children, have been killed within 24 hours by Russian airstrikes targeting three Syrian areas, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).

The director of the Observatory, Rami Abdel Rahman, said that the Russian air strikes targeted Raqqa, the stronghold of DAESH, alongside the towns of Azaz and Al-Bab in the northern province of Aleppo.

“The dead included 6 children and 11 women, while many others were wounded in addition to material damages,” the SOHR said on Friday.

Abdel Rahman also stated that no militants were killed in all of the three areas.

Since September 30, Russia has been launching air strikes in support of Syrian regime leader Bashar al Assad. The Russian air strikes have targeted assemblies of Assad opponents including the western trained moderate opposition, killing hundreds of civilians and destroying facilities in the western rebel-held areas.

The Observatory says it distinguishes between Syrian, Russian and US-led coalition aircraft depending on the type of planes and ordnance used and whether the planes took off from inside the country.

The war in Syria started in 2011 after peaceful demonstrations demanding freedom and better living conditions were suppressed by the Syrian regime.

Russia and Iran have been supporting Assad and forces loyal to him.

The Syrian conflict paved the way for the emergence of the terrorist group DAESH which declared the formation of a self-proclaimed caliphate in Syria and Iraq in 2014 with the Syrian city of Raqqa as its capital. A US-led coalition launched an aerial campaign to fight the group in September 2014.

The war in Syria has so far claimed the lives of over 250,000 people according to UN estimates, while the SOHR says that the true death toll exceeds 350,000.

TRTWorld and agencies