Syria: 15 civilians killed in strikes on al-Qaeda-held town
Four children and eight women were among at least 15 civilians killed in regime air raids on a rebel-held town in north-western Syria on Friday.
Around 60 people were also wounded in the attack on the town of Darkush, near the Turkish border, which is held by al-Qaeda affiliate al-Nusra Front and allied rebel groups.
"We rushed this afternoon to downtown Darkush after two missiles hit a densely-populated residential area, killing 15," a source in the Civil Defence force told The New Arab.
"The majority of victims were refugees from different parts of Idlib and Aleppo, which have been heavily shelled. They had fled to Darkush because it was considered relatively safe from regime air raids," the source added.
Medics said that around 20 of the injured had been taken to Turkey for treatment because of the lack of adequate medical resources in rebel-held areas.
Media activist Ahmad Saeed told local media that Darkush had been hit by long-distance missiles thought to have originated from Russian warships off the Syrian coast at the same time as regime warplanes carried out the air raids.
Saeed added that regime warplanes also attacked the nearby town of Kafr Takharim, wounding another eight civilians.
|This week, rebel-held areas in Aleppo and Idlib provinces were bombed despite Damascus' promise of a 72-hours truce|
|Al-Nusra is one of the strongest groups among Syrian rebels [Getty]|
This week, rebel-held areas in Aleppo and Idlib provinces were bombed despite Damascus' promise of a 72-hours truce for Eid al-Fitr, the feast marking the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
It was unclear if al-Nusra was included, but the al-Qaeda affiliate and its rival the Islamic State group [IS] have been excluded from a broader truce brokered by Moscow and Washington in February.
The Kremlin said on Wednesday that President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Barack Obama had agreed to "intensify" military coordination in Syria.
The White House said the two leaders had "confirmed their commitment to defeating [IS] and the al-Nusra Front."
More than 280,000 people have been killed in Syria since the civil war erupted in 2011.
It began with peaceful protests but swiftly escalated into an armed rebellion that has become increasingly dominated by Islamic militant groups.