Sunday 22 October 2017

Syrian army bombardment kills at least six children and four adults

A portrait of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad burns during clashes between rebels and Syrian troops in the city center of Selehattin, near Aleppo Photo: Getty Images
A portrait of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad burns during clashes between rebels and Syrian troops in the city center of Selehattin, near Aleppo Photo: Getty Images

A SYRIAN army bombardment killed at least six children and four other civilians today in the town of Herak on the southern Hauran Plain, opposition activists said, and a video showed mangled bodies laid out in a local hospital.

"Artillery and mortar rounds hit several residential streets in Herak. Most of the children who were killed were living on the same street," Shams al-Horani, one of the activists, told Reuters by phone from the city of Deraa, birthplace of the 16-month-old revolt against President Bashar al-Assad.



"The army is shelling Herak, al-Nuiameh, Dael, Khirbat Ghazaleh and Old Deraa from the Malaab al-Baladi (football stadium) in Deraa," she added.



Opposition sources said Assad's forces had largely lost control of Deraa and the main population centres in Hauran, which stretches from the outskirts of the capital Damascus to the border with Jordan.



But the army has been heavily shelling the areas under rebel control for the last week and dozens of people, mostly civilians, have been killed, the sources said.



Video footage posted on the Internet showed the bodies of several children in Herak with holes in their legs, torso and head, and a dead woman on the floor of a hospital.



One young girl wearing a pink and blue top with stars and hearts on it lay on a doctor's table.



Her legs were only attached to the rest of her body by skin.



Next to her lay another girl with a hole in her chest and two boys with gashes in their legs and head.



One of the boys had a Popeye T-shirt on. All four were so small that they fit on a single doctor's table.



On the floor, in a pool of blood, lay a boy in a yellow T-shirt. Next to him a woman wearing a black veil lay dead. Her eyes had rolled up and a white bandage kept her jaw from dropping.



At the woman's side lay the youngest, a baby girl with thin hair in a purple dress.



"We rely on God!" a man in the video shouted, blaming the killings on government artillery. "Children of Herak die in shelling daily," he added, saying the town had been bombarded for 10 days.

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