Thursday 8 December 2016

Schoolchildren among 22 dead in Syrian strikes

Published 26/10/2016 | 12:44

President of Syria, Bashar al-Assad Photo: AP
President of Syria, Bashar al-Assad Photo: AP

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said air strikes killed at least 22 people in a village in Syria's rebel-held Idlib province on Wednesday, seven of them children.

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The Observatory, a British-based war monitor, said warplanes struck several locations in the Haas village, including an elementary and middle school, killing at least one teacher as well as the children.

A report on Syrian state TV quoted a military source as saying a number of militants had been killed when their positions were targeted in Haas, but did not mention a school.

Syria's civil war pits President Bashar al-Assad, backed by Russia, Iran and Shi'ite Muslim militias from Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan against an array of mostly Sunni rebel groups including some backed by Turkey, Gulf monarchies and the U.S.

Idlib, near Aleppo in northwest Syria, contains the largest populated area controlled by rebels, both nationalist groups under the banner of the Free Syrian Army and Islamist ones including the former al Qaeda affiliate Jabhat Fateh al-Sham.

The high death toll from strikes by the Syrian military and Russian air force in rebel-held areas has prompted criticism from Western countries and international human rights groups.

Reuters

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