Rus­sia airstrike kills five civil­ians in Syria: Mon­i­tor

Muscat Daily - - WORLD -

Bala, Syria - An airstrike on Sat­ur­day by Syr­ian regime ally Rus­sia killed five civil­ians, in­clud­ing four mem­bers of the same fam­ily, in an op­po­si­tion bas­tion in the coun­try’s north­west, a mon­i­tor said.

The Syr­ian Ob­ser­va­tory for Hu­man Rights said three chil­dren were among those killed af­ter mid­night on Fri­day in the vil­lage of Bala in the mil­i­tant-run Idlib re­gion.

“A man, his wife, and their two lit­tle girls were among those killed,” said the head of the Bri­tain-based mon­i­tor­ing group, Rami Ab­del Rah­man.

A cor­re­spon­dent at a hos­pi­tal in the area saw the bod­ies of two of the chil­dren wrapped up in thick win­ter blan­kets.

The strike cre­ated a mas­sive crater of rub­ble near a two­s­torey home flanked by an empty out­door swim­ming pool, the cor­re­spon­dent said.

The Ob­ser­va­tory, which re­lies on sources in­side Syria for its in­for­ma­tion, says it de­ter­mines who car­ried out airstrikes ac­cord­ing to flight pat­terns as well as air­craft and am­mu­ni­tion in­volved.

The Idlib re­gion has wit­nessed an uptick in vi­o­lence this week, as the Syr­ian govern­ment presses a deadly of­fen­sive de­spite a cease­fire ar­ranged by its Rus­sian ally and rebel backer Turkey.

Home to three mil­lion peo­ple, the mil­i­tant-run bas­tion is made up of a large part of the Idlib province, as well as sliv­ers of the neigh­bour­ing Aleppo and Latakia prov­inces.

Fight­ing there since Wed­nes­day has killed 28 civil­ians in­clud­ing eight chil­dren, ac­cord­ing to the Ob­ser­va­tory. It also took the lives of 58 pro-regime fight­ers.

Vi­o­lence in re­cent weeks has prompted hun­dreds of thou­sands of civil­ians to flee their homes, ex­pos­ing them to a harsh win­ter.

On Thurs­day, Rus­sia de­nied launch­ing any com­bat op­er­a­tions in the re­gion since the start of a cease­fire it said started on Jan­uary 9.

A man, his wife, and their two lit­tle girls were among those killed

Rami Ab­del Rah­man

(AFP)

Mem­bers of the Syr­ian Civil De­fence near the rub­ble of a build­ing in the north­ern province of Aleppo on Sat­ur­day

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