Suspected Russia raids kill 32 civilians in north Syria
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Suspected Russia raids kill 32 civilians in north Syria

London-based monitoring group says 1,900 killed, including 635 civilians, by Russian strikes since September

Screen capture of a bomb being released from a Russian Su-34 strike fighter in Syria, taken from footage made available on the Russian Defense Ministry official website, October 9, 2015. (Russian Defense Ministry Press Service/AP, File)
Screen capture of a bomb being released from a Russian Su-34 strike fighter in Syria, taken from footage made available on the Russian Defense Ministry official website, October 9, 2015. (Russian Defense Ministry Press Service/AP, File)

BEIRUT — Suspected Russian airstrikes have killed 32 civilians, half of them women and children, in three areas in northern Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Friday.

Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said warplanes bombarded Raqqa, the Islamic State group’s de facto Syrian capital, as well as the towns of Azaz and Al-Bab in Aleppo province, on Thursday.

Six children and 11 women were among the dead, and dozens of people were wounded, the Britain-based monitor said.

The toll in Raqqa also included two rescue workers, according to Abdel Rahman, but he said no suspected militants were killed in the three areas that were hit.

Russia has been conducting an intense air war on armed opposition groups throughout Syria for nearly three months.

But its campaign has been criticized by the West and by rebels for targeting non-jihadist groups and incurring civilian casualties.

The Observatory says it distinguishes between strikes carried out by Syrian, Russian and US-led coalition aircraft based on flight patterns indicating whether planes took off from inside the country, as well as the type of planes and ordnance used.

It identifies those killed through its broad network of activists, medical workers at local hospitals, and fighters on the ground.

According to Abdel Rahman, Russian strikes since September 30 have left 1,900 people dead, including 635 civilians.

The toll includes 526 IS jihadists and 739 other opposition fighters, including Islamists and rebels.

More than 250,000 people have been killed since Syria’s conflict erupted in 2011.

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