Air raids kill 26 in Syria

February 25, 2014 - 10:13:22 am

A homemade missile is launched towards the location of pro-regime fighters in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, yesterday.

AMMAN: Air raids on rebel-held towns across Syria killed 26 people yesterday, activists said, two days after the UN Security Council passed a resolution demanding an end to indiscriminate shelling and aerial attacks.

Syria’s almost three-year-old conflict has raged on despite peace talks that began in Geneva last month and the passage of the UN resolution, a rare moment of unity between the West and Russia, President Bashar Al Assad’s strongest backer.

Two women and 10 children were among the dead in government air raids on the town of Al Neshabieh, in the eastern outskirts of Damascus, near a railway marking the frontline between Islamist fighters and Assad’s forces backed by Lebanese Hezbollah militants, and in the province of Homs to the north.

“Two simultaneous raids hit Neshabieh first. People were pulling the bodies of a women and her two children from one house when the planes came back and hit the crowed, killing another nine,” activist Abu Sakr said.

He said artillery fire from a battalion based at Damascus airport and the nearby town of Mleiha then hit the town. Fifty people were wounded in the combined bombardment, he said.

Photos taken by activists, purportedly at a field hospital in the area, showed a girl’s body covered in a white shroud, and the decapitated bodies of several men. Reuters could not independently verify the pictures. “We barely managed to take the bodies before the artillery hit,” said Abu Abdo, a rescue worker at the field hospital.

In Homs province, activists reported air raids on al-Hosn, a Sunni town near the Crusader castle of Crac des Chevaliers in a valley mostly inhabited by Christians, who have mostly stayed on the sidelines in the conflict between Assad and rebels.

The Syrian Revolution General Commission, a grassroots opposition group, said six people were killed in the attack on al-Hosn. Footage showed the bodies of two people amid the rubble, one of whom was identified as a woman.

Another video showed a rocket hitting the densely built-up town, with smoke rising as the sound of a warplane is heard.

In the town of Talbiseh, on Syria’s main north-south highway, opposition activists said an air raid killed four children. Footage showed relatives gathered around the bodies, which were wrapped in white and laid on a tiled floor. One man was shown holding the bloodied head of one child and weeping. On Saturday, Russia and China voted with Western powers for a UN resolution that calls for access for humanitarian aid in Syria and threatens “further steps” in case of non-compliance.

The initial text was weakened during negotiations, with references to the International Criminal Court and targeted sanctions removed. But a call for an end to shelling and air raids in populated areas, a demand for cross-border humanitarian access and the naming of besieged areas were included.Reuters

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