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Airstrikes kill and wound dozens in Syria
September 30, 2017
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BEIRUT: Airstrikes hit towns and villages in northern Syria on Friday killing and wounding dozens of people, opposition activists and pro-government media said. Clashes meanwhile in the country’s centre and east with the Daesh group led government forces to secure a main highway linking the capital Damascus with eastern Syria.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the airstrikes are concentrating on Idlib, Hama and Aleppo provinces north of the country, which witnessed clashes last week between Syrian and Russian troops with insurgents.

Rami Abdurrahman, the Observatory’s chief, said 42 towns and villages were aerially bombarded on Friday alone, killing at least 12 and wounded 31.

The opposition’s Thiqa News Agency released a video showing a bloodied dead baby being pulled from under the rubble in the village of Urem Al-Kubra in Aleppo province. Thiqa said five people were killed in the strikes Urem al-Kubra.

Opposition activists say Syrian and Russian warplanes have been bombing northern Syria for nearly a week, killing as many as 150 people.

The airstrikes in northern Syria came as government forces have been fighting fierce battles with Daesh members in central and eastern Syria, clashes that killed scores of troops and pro-government militiamen, according to Daesh statements and Syrian opposition activists.

The Observatory said two days of fighting in the desert area left 120 Syrian troops, Hizbollah fighters and other pro-government gunmen dead. The government-controlled Syrian Central Military Media said Syrian troops repelled the attack by Daesh.

The attack by Daesh came as a surprise at a time when the extremists are losing ground across their self-declared caliphate. In July, the group lost the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. Daesh’s de facto capital of Raqqa in Syria is currently under attack by the US-backed and Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces.

Iraqi troops and SDF fighters have been marching against Daesh under the cover of airstrikes by the US-led coalition while Syrian troops and their allies have gained ground under the cover of Russian airstrikes.

The Pentagon said in a statement Friday that since the US-led coalition operations against Daesh began in Iraq and Syria in 2014, forces allied with the Americans have retaken more than 83 per cent of land once held by extremists. It added that the effort has liberated more than six million Syrians and Iraqis.

Reuters

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