SOHR says Russian raids kill 63 civilians in eastern Syria

Syrian watchdog SOHR says suspected Russian raids kill 63 civilians, including 9 children in eastern Syria

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

A civil defence member reacts at a site hit by what activists said were three consecutive airstrikes carried out by the Russian air force, in Idlib province, Syria January 12, 2016

Updated Jan 24, 2016

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported that at least 63 civilians were killed in air strikes suspected to have been carried out by Russian warplanes on a village in eastern Syria on Saturday.

Nine children and one woman were among the dead in the village of Khasham in Syria’s oil-rich Deir Ezzor province, said the monitor group.

Controlled by the DAESH terrorist group, Khasham lies just 20 kilometers (12 miles) southeast of the provincial capital, most of which is now held by DAESH.

The monitor group relies on a network of activists on the ground and says it distinguishes between Syrian, Russian and US-led coalition aircraft based on flight patterns, as well as the type of planes and ordnance used.

On Friday, at least 44 civilians were killed in air strikes in Tabiyyah Jazeera, a village adjacent to Khasham and it was not clear if the air strikes were carried out by Russian or regime warplanes.

A civil defence member carries a dead child in a site hit by what activists said were air strikes carried out by the Russian air force in in Idlib province, Syria, January 9, 2016.

However, the latest strikes came as Syrian regime pushed to retake territory captured by DAESH after a fierce offensive by the terrorist group on Jan. 16.

According to SOHR, the multi-front assault on Deir Ezzor and subsequent fighting has left about 500 people dead.

As DAESH holds most of the province, the regime has clung onto parts of the provincial capital, as well as the nearby military airport.

The terrorist group has also tightened its siege of the roughly 200,000 people still living inside the city.

In September, Russia, a staunch ally of Syrian regime leader Bashar al Assad, began an air campaign in support of Damascus.

TRTWorld and agencies