Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Russian airstrikes kill over 2,300 in Syria, says human rights group

Casualties of Moscow’s air war in support of President Assad include 792 civilians, among them 180 children
A man pulls a child from the wreckage after a Russian airstrike in Aleppo, Syria.

 A man pulls a child from the wreckage after a Russian airstrike in Aleppo, Syria. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Three months of Russian airstrikes in Syria have killed more than 2,300 people, a third of them civilians, a monitoring group has said.
Russia began conducting its air war in Syria on 30 September in support of its embattled ally, President Bashar al-Assad.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Moscow’s strikes on Syria have killed 2,371 people so far. The toll includes 792 civilians, among them 180 children.
The raids killed 655 Islamic State fighters, which Russia says it is targeting along with “other terrorist groups”.
Another 924 opposition fighters – ranging from US-backed rebels to members of al-Qaida’s Syrian affiliate and Isis rival the al-Nusra Front – were also killed in the Russian strikes.
The Britain-based monitoring group has an extensive network of sources inside Syria. Russia, a US-led coalition and the Syrian airforce are all carrying out air raids in the country, but the Observatory differentiates between strikes based on the type of aircraft flown and the munitions used.
Russia has come under growing criticism from rebels, human rights groups and the west for inflicting civilian casualties.
Amnesty International last week said Russian raids had killed hundreds of civilians, many in targeted strikes that could constitute war crimes.
US State Department spokesman Mark Toner echoed the accusations on Tuesday, saying Russian strikes have “killed hundreds of civilians, including first responders, [and] hit medical facilities, schools and markets”.
More than 250,000 people have been killed since the Syrian conflict erupted in March 2011 with anti-government protests.

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