At least 63 people, including nine children, have died in air strikes believed to be carried out by Russian warplanes on a town in eastern Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Sunday
At least 63 people, including nine children, have died in air strikes believed to be carried out by Russian warplanes on a town in eastern Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Sunday.
The raids on Khasham near the city of Deir al-Zor on Saturday were among a series of strikes that also hit two other town in the past 48 hours, killing scores of people. Russian jets have been bombing around Deir al-Zor as Syrian pro-government forces clash with ISIS fighters, who control most of the province.
Warplanes have also hit ISIS’s de facto capital of Raqqa over the past two days, killing at least 44 people in the city, the Observatory said.
Meanwhile, pro-government forces overran the last major rebel-held town in Syria’s coastal Latakia province Sunday, as the United Nations prepares to host talks this week on ending the country’s nearly five-year war.
State television said Army forces, working with pro-regime militia, had seized control of the town of Rabia after heavy fighting with rebels. It was the second strategic victory for pro-regime forces in Latakia in less than two weeks, after government troops seized the town of Salma from rebels on January 12.
Rabia had been held by the Opposition since 2012 and was controlled by a range of rebel groups including some made up of Syrian Turkmen, as well as Al Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front.
On Sunday, German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said upcoming talks should include Islamist rebels, though not “terrorists and Islamic extremists”. “Where do you expect to find moderate groups after more than five years of civil war, extreme violence and spreading brutalisation ” Mr Steinmeier was quoted as saying.