Russian Airstrikes Kill Around 34 in Syria, 15 Children Among Dead
Thirty four civilians were killed, 15 among them children, by Russian air strikes on a village held by ISIS in Syria's eastern Deir Ezzor province, on Sunday, 26 November, a monitor said.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the strikes hit the village of Al-Shafah, on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River, in the early hours of Sunday.
The Observatory relies on a network of sources inside Syria, and says it determines whose planes carry out raids according to type, location, flight patterns, and munitions used.
Russia is a close ally of Syria’s President Bashar al- Assad, and in September 2015 began a military intervention in support of his government that has gradually helped Damascus regain territory.
Syria's Deir Ezzor is one of the last places ISIS militants hold territory in the country, after being driven from their major strongholds, including their one-time de facto Syrian capital Raqqa city.
The oil-rich eastern province that borders Iraq was once almost completely under ISIS control, but the jihadists now hold just nine per cent of Deir Ezzor, according to the Observatory.
They have faced two separate offensives there, one led by the regime with Russian backing and the other by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, an alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters.
Syrian Airstrikes Kill 23 More in Damascus
Coming barely hours after Russia’s airstrikes, 23 civilians were killed by Syrian regime air strikes and artillery fire on the rebel-held Eastern Ghouta region outside the capital of Damascus.
The deaths in Damascus came despite the area falling within a so-called “de-escalation zone” put in place under a deal between government allies Russia, Iran, and rebel backer Turkey.
Government air strikes on the areas of Mesraba and Madira killed 21 civilians, while artillery fire on the town of Douma killed another two civilians, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said. Four children were among those killed, the monitor added.
More than 340,000 people have been killed in Syria since the conflict began in March 2011 with anti-government protests.
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