Syrian regime kills civilians in Aleppo amid peace talks

Assad regime moves along besieged Aleppo villages with Russian-back air strikes and kills civilians while Syria peace talks continue in Geneva

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Residents inspect damage in a site hit by what activists said were air strikes carried out by the Russian air force in the town of Douma, eastern Ghouta in Damascus, Syria, on Jan. 10, 2016

Updated Feb 3, 2016

Assad regime forces' advance on besieged Aleppo villages backed up Russian air strikes have resulted in civilian casualties in the region despite peace talks process in Geneva to end Syrian war

A Syrian regime colonel in the region stated regime forces were "three kilometres (1.9 miles) from Nubol and Zahraa."

He indicated they planned to "break the siege on them and cut the only remaining rebel supply route between Aleppo city and the north of the province."

A coalition of Syria’s main opposition groups which started peace talks in Geneva have demanded a stop to Russian air strikes as a condition of negotiating with the regime. Russian attacks have killed mostly civilians in rebel held areas.

A Syrian opposition official said on Monday that the Syrian regime must start the promised goodwill measures in a few days.

"The Syrian regime must state directly, frankly and without ambiguity that it is ready to implement (United Nations) Articles 12 and 13 immediately, and it must not take more than a few days," Monzer Makhous, an official from the Syrian opposition's High Negotiations Committee said.

Russia ignored their demands and bombed a refugee camp in a village called Obin in Syria, situated four kilometres 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."

A man carries his two girls as he walks through the rubble in the rebel-held neighbourhood of al-Kalasa in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo. (AFP)

Russian air strikes target civilians

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

The Russian attacks have killed “hundreds” of citizens, according to an Amnesty International report.

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.

Residents look at a a fire at a gasoline and oil shop in Bustan Al-Qasr, inside the rebel stronghold of Aleppo. (Reuters)

Russia’s air force carried out 468 attacks in Syria over the past week, hitting more than 1,300 targets, Russian news agencies quoted Russia’s Defence Ministry as saying on Monday.

Civil defence units had to pull the bodies of the dead and injured from the rubble and destroyed buildings, Mohamed Kurab, an activist based in Anadan, told Anadolu Agency.

Local residents in northern Aleppo are afraid to go out due to ongoing Russian air strikes, Kurab said.

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said on Monday that Russian President Vladimir Putin is undermining international efforts to end the Syrian civil war by bombing opponents of DAESH in an attempt to bolster Bashar al Assad.

Syrians flee to Turkey

More than 3,120 Syrians crossed into Turkey in the last three days, as Russian air strikes and Assad’s regime continues to pound the Turkmen Mountain region.

Turkey hosts more than 2.5 million Syrian refugees who have fled the raging conflict in their country.

SOHR says Syrian civil war has claimed more than 260,000 lives since it started in 2011.

TRTWorld and agencies