Death toll in Syrian bombing raid hits 76
Beirut, December 16, 2013
Seventy-six people, including 28 children, were killed on Sunday when Syrian army helicopters dropped "barrel bombs" on the northern city of Aleppo, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Monday.
Barrel bombs are explosive-filled cylinders or oil barrels, often rolled out of the back of helicopters with little attempt at striking a particular target but capable of causing widespread casualties and significant damage.
The Britain-based Observatory said that rebel groups in Aleppo issued a statement asking civilians in government-held parts of the city to move away from state security buildings, which they said would be targeted in retaliation for the bombings.
President Bashar al-Assad's forces, battling rebels in a 2-1/2 year conflict that has killed more than 100,000 people, frequently deploy air power and artillery against rebel-held districts across the country.
They have been unable to recapture eastern and central parts of Aleppo, which rebels stormed in the summer of 2012, but they have driven rebel fighters back from towns to the southeast of the city in recent weeks.
The conflict has grown sectarian, with majority Sunni rebels battling Assad's own Alawite sect and Shi'ite militia.
The Observatory - which has a network of opposition, pro-government and medical sources - also said on Monday that rebels in northern Aleppo province were threatening to strike two Shi'ite villages they have surrounded with missiles if barrel bombs were used again by the army. – Reuters
More INTERNATIONAL NEWS Stories
- Alibaba plans US listing in third-quarter
- Lost airliner was diverted deliberately: Malaysian PM
- Saudi demands Qatar shut down Al Jazeera
- Labour stalwart Benn dies aged 88
- Bahrain boat show postponed over development work
- Korean steel maker Posco set for revamp
- Harsh winter hits US consumer sentiment
- Sanctions set as Russia presses on with Crimea takeover
- India inflation at nine-month low
- Missing plane: It's deliberate act says Malaysia PM
- Lost plane 'flown deliberately toward Andamans'
- Gold hits fresh six-month highs
- Iran not open for business, affirms Kerry
- Barclays 'to cut thousands of jobs'
- Jet sent 'pings' after going missing
- China premier warns on economic slowdown
- Gunmen fire on army bus in Cairo, 1 killed
- Lost jet 'may have flown for four hours'
- Gold up as Ukraine, China prompt safe-haven bids
- Search finds no sign of lost plane at suspect spot
- Missing jet may have strayed to Andaman
- Gold hits near 6-month high
- 2 killed in Manhattan building blast
- Cameron pushes for travel bans on Russian MPs
- Indian coastguards join Malaysia jet search
- Confusion as search for lost jet spreads
- Military denies lost plane's flight to Malacca
- Investors monitoring Pimco after internal strife
- N Korea tanker ‘leaves Libya rebel port carrying oil’
- Malaysia plane incident not terror related: Interpol