Monitor: Russian Raids Kill 12 in Syria

Tuesday, 21 January, 2020 - 13:00 -

Monitor: Russian Raids Kill 12 in Syria

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A Syrian boy cries in the village of Kafr Taal where nine children are reported to have been killed in two days of air strikes. AFP
Asharq Al-Awsat

Russian airstrikes killed 12 civilians on Tuesday in northwestern Syria. Two were killed in a southern area of Idlib province while the other 10 died in a western region of neighbouring Aleppo province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The raids on Aleppo province killed eight members of the same family who were sheltering in a house, Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said, AFP reported.

Six children were among those killed in the raid on the village of Kfar Taal, where three girls had already died a day earlier in strikes, according to the monitor.

"Over the past three days, the bombardment on Idlib and its surroundings, including in western Aleppo, has been exclusively Russian," Abdel Rahman noted.

Abdel Rahman said that the airstrikes could be a prelude to a land offensive in western Aleppo, as the regime and its allies continue their drive to shrink the country's last opposition-held pocket.

"The regime has massed reinforcements on the outskirts of the city of Aleppo," Abdel Rahman said.

According to AFP, Russia has thousands of forces deployed across Syria in support of the army, while an unknown contingent of Russian private security personnel also operates on the ground.

The violence in northern Syria is escalating an already dire humanitarian situation, with aid groups warning of displacement on an unprecedented scale.

Idlib province alone is home to at least three million people, many of whom are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance.