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Six children among dead in Syrian airstrikes

Russian airstrikes are more precise and more intense than the regime's [Getty]

Date of publication: 23 October, 2015

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An aerial attack on Talbisseh in Syria's Homs province killed at least 14 civilians, nearly half of them children, while Russian airstrikes hit medical facilities killing medical staff and civilians.

At least 14 civilians, nearly half of them children, were killed on Friday in airstrikes on a flashpoint town in central Syria, a monitoring group said.

Six children and five women were among those killed in the aerial attack on Talbisseh in Homs province, according to Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

 

He said the air raids were believed to have been carried out by either Russia or the Syrian regime, both of which have been conducting airstrikes in the area.

Russian warplanes on Friday struck targets in eastern parts of Hama province, southern battlefronts in Aleppo province, and parts of the regime bastion of Latakia province, the Observatory added.

Russian airstrikes hit hospitals in Syria

Late on Thursday, nine Russian airstrikes hit hospitals or field clinics operating, killing civilians and medical staff, a Syrian medical organisation said.

The Syrian-American Medical Society, which operates several facilities in Syria, said a deadly strike earlier this week "adds to the previous estimated eight Russian airstrikes on hospitals in Syria, as well as the 313 attacks on medical facilities since the start of the conflict".

It said several of its facilities had been hit in Russia's bombing campaign, including in the Mediterranean coastal province of Latakia and the central province of Hama on October 2 and in the northwestern province of Idlib on Tuesday.

The latest strike killed two medical personnel and at least 10 civilians, and wounded 28 civilians, it said.

Russia has strongly denied reports that its aircraft hit the hospital in the Idlib province town of Sarmin, describing them as "fake."

The society's president, Ahmad Tarakji, called for international action to stop hospitals and clinics being hit again.

"We call on the international community to use all means necessary to end attacks on civilians and to prevent the further targeting of healthcare facilities in Syria," he said.

Russia began its air campaign in Syria on September 30 in support of its ally President Bashar al-Assad.

The campaign has been criticised not only for causing civilian casualties but also for targeting non-extremist rebel groups more than the Islamic State group or al-Qaeda.

The Russian strikes have so far killed at least 446 people, including 151 civilians, 38 children and 35 women, Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said.

The strikes have also killed 295 combattants, including 75 IS extremists and 31 members of al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate, al-Nusra Front, Abdel Rahman said.

Physician for Human Rights said that "In the last three four weeks the airstrikes have become very accurate, very precise and very intense," British newspaper, The Guardian reported.

"[In the past] four weeks we know the situation has become really horrible and the number of displaced people are far more than before and we are talking about people who are used to war."

The organisation's director of programmes, Widney Brown, said "Bashar al-Assad's forces have been relentlessly attacking Syria's health care system for the past four years and the Russian government is now following in their footsteps."

Brown said these attacks were inexcusable.

"Claiming that the fight is against terrorists does not give any government the right to tear up the laws of war, which specifically protect health workers and facilities."

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