Scores killed in Syria regime raids following coalition 'massacre'

Scores killed in Syria regime raids following coalition 'massacre'
Video: At least 60 civilians, including 10 children, were killed in regime and Russian bombardment across Syria on Thursday days after coalition strikes obliterated entire families in northeast
3 min read
22 July, 2016
Sixty civilians, including at least 10 children, were killed in bombardment of several rebel-held areas across Syria on Thursday, local sources reported.

At least 13 people, including three children, were killed in government airstrikes and shelling on the Eastern Ghouta area outside the capital Damascus, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said.

Among the areas targeted was Douma, where the central market was hit, an AFP photographer said.

Government bombardment also hit two neighbourhoods of the rebel-held east of Aleppo city, where 27 people were killed, among them six children, local activist Mohammad al-Halabi told The New Arab.

"Twenty-seven civilians were killed on Thursday from regime airstrikes in Aleppo," al-Halabi said, "The raids targeted a medical centre twice, destroying parts of the building and wounding several staff members."

Opposition-held neighbourhoods of Aleppo have been effectively under siege for the past two weeks, after government forces advanced to within firing range of the only remaining supply route into the east of the city.

Since then, government forces have seized part of the road, completely severing the east of the city from the outside world.

Civilians in rebel- and jihadist-held territories are being killed indiscriminately by regime, Russian and US-led coalition strikes

At least 17 civilians were killed in strikes and shelling in different parts of the northwestern province of Idlib, The Syrian Observatory reported.

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"The death toll from the Idlib bombing, which increased overnight, included women and children," Abu Mohammad said.

"Many families are trying to flee the city as a result of the heavy Russian bombardment," he added.

A key ally of the Syrian government, Russia began carrying out airstrikes in the country in late September.

Elsewhere in Idlib, the monitor said three people had been killed in government shelling on the town of Badama, and another three people, including a child, in government airstrikes on the town of Sarmada.

Meanwhile, Syria's opposition and activist appealed to the US-led coalition to halt air raids targeting Islamic State [IS] group in Manbij.

Their appeal came after dozens of civilians, including 11 children, were killed in US-led bombing campaign earlier this week.

The US-led coalition began an airstrike campaign on Syria in 2014.

The bombing - which is the coalition's deadliest attack on civilians in its fight against IS - was also described by the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights as a "massacre."

The UN hopes a meeting between US and Russian officials would pave the way for a resumption of peace talks

UN urges peace talks resumption

The UN Special Envoy for Syria called on Russia and the US to find a way forward on the Syrian crisis during their scheduled meeting in Geneva next week.

While it remained unclear whether the UN will participate in the meeting, Staffan de Mistura's spokewoman Jessy Chahine hoped that the meeting will pave way for Syria's warring factions to resume peace talks.

"Our hope is that any discussions on Syria will help moved forward with the process so we can also get to starting the next round of intra-Syria talks," Reuters reported Chahine as saying.

More than 280,000 people have been killed in Syria, and more than half the country displaced, since the conflict began with anti-government protests in March 2011.

Agencies contributed to this report.