Tuesday 24 April 2018

Syria civilian deaths 'on the rise' amid fragile ceasefire

A Syrian man rides a bicycle through a devastated part of the city of Homs (AP)
A Syrian man rides a bicycle through a devastated part of the city of Homs (AP)

Fighting in Syria has killed more civilians in the past two days than in the previous eight, marking a deterioration of the conflict's partial ceasefire, according to a monitoring group.

Eighty civilians have died in fighting in the ceasefire areas since it took effect 10 days ago, more than half of them in the last two days, said the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

It documented 240 deaths in total, including from the ranks of militants and government forces.

Syria's official news agency SANA said government forces have repelled a "terrorist" assault on a strategic position south of the contested city of Aleppo.

The observatory said al Qaida's affiliate in Syria, the Nusra Front, led the assault on Al Eis hill on Monday night but could not capture it.

Meanwhile, a four-year-old child died after rockets fired from Islamic State-controlled territory in Syria landed on the Turkish side of the border.

The mayor of the border city of Kilis, Hasan Kara, said Turkish artillery retaliated by firing at IS targets in Syria.

As many as eight rockets landed in Turkey, with at least one of them hitting a populated neighbourhood in Kilis and killing a woman and injuring two boys in a car. The youngest boy died on his way to hospital, while his six-year-old brother is in a stable condition.

Mr Kara said residents are being urged to stay indoors. Schools in Kilis were evacuated and would remain closed.

The Turkish military has been retaliating to any rockets or shells fired from Syria that land on Turkish territory in line with its rules of engagement.

Online Editors

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News