More than 100 civilians killed in Syrian regime strikes
AMMAN // At least 110 civilians have been killed in more than 470 airstrikes conducted by the Syrian regime on rebel-held areas in the space of three days, activists have said.
“There have been unprecedented air raids across Syria in the last three days where the regime seeks to make gains on the ground to improve its negotiating stance in future political talks,” said Rami Abdul Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The Observatory said at least 52 civilians, including seven children, three teenagers and two women, were killed in Syrian army air raids on the city of Al Bab and neighbouring Qabaseen, north-east of Aleppo on Thursday. Dozens more were wounded.
Helicopters and war planes dropped barrel bombs on residential and industrial areas on Thursday and overnight, locals said.
“People were going about scraping a living and there were no armed groups in the market, only poor people,” said Yousef Al Saadi, a resident of Qabaseen and a volunteer with the local civil defence group who was contacted on Skype.
Syrian state media did not report the strikes on Al Bab, a city of around 100,000 people that has been a target of heavy government strikes since the start of US-led military campaign against ISIL in Syria in late September.
The Britain-based Observatory, which gathers information from a variety of sources, said 11 civilians, most women and children, were killed by loyalist snipers when they were trying to leave Zebdin, a besieged rebel-held neighbourhood in the rural outskirts of Damascus.
* Reuters and Agence France-Presse
Published: December 27, 2014 04:00 AM