Wed | Aug 16, 2017

Airstrikes outside school kill 22, mostly children

Published:Thursday | October 27, 2016 | 10:12 AM
In this photo provided by the Syrian Civil Defense group known as the White Helmets, Syrian Civil Defense workers search through the rubble after airstrikes in the village of Hass in the Idlib province, Syria, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016. Syrian activists say that airstrikes outside a school in the northern, rebel-held province of Idlib have killed 17 people, mostly children. The Idlib News network says the airstrikes hit as the children gathered outside a school complex in the village of Hass.

 

Syria BEIRUT (AP):

Air strikes in Syria killed up to 22 people, mostly children, yesterday when warplanes struck a residential area housing a school complex in the northern rebel-held province of Idlib, activists and rescue workers said.

A team of first responders, the Syrian Civil Defense in Idlib, said 22 people were killed and at least 50 wounded in the raids on the village of Hass. Most of those killed were children, the group said in a posting on its Facebook page.

Another activist group, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, gave the same death toll and said 14 children and a woman were among those killed.

The activist-operated Idlib News network, which gave a lower toll of 17 people killed, said the strikes hit as the children were gathered outside the school complex. It said the death toll could rise as some of the wounded were reported to be in critical condition, the network added.

Idlib is the main Syrian opposition stronghold, though radical groups also have a large presence there. It has regularly been hit by Syrian and Russian warplanes as well as the US-led coalition targeting Islamic State militants.

Footage posted by activists online shows a huge plume of smoke rising from the area of the strikes and rescuers rushing casualties away along a dusty road lined with destroyed buildings.

A woman's body is seen being carried on a stretcher while other bodies, covered in cloth and one with only a hat, lie under shrubs and other casualties are ferried away in pick-up trucks.

An activist at the scene, Muaz al-Shami, said as many as 10 airstrikes were believed to have hit the residential area.

The video content couldn't be independently confirmed. However, it conforms with AP reporting on the events depicted.

Earlier in the day, the northern Aleppo province saw a new escalation as a helicopter believed to belong to Syrian government forces dropped barrel bombs in a deadly attack on Turkey-backed opposition forces in the border area, Turkish officials said.