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Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Rockets kill 6 civilians in Syria's Aleppo: State media

AFP , Sunday 14 Apr 2019
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Rockets fired by Islamist militants on Sunday killed at least six civilians in the Syrian city of Aleppo, which is held by President Bashar al-Assad's regime, state news agency SANA reported.

Aleppo is located in the north of the country next to Idlib, a province dominated by Syria's former Al-Qaeda affiliate, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS).

Since the regime regained control of Aleppo at the end of 2016, the city has been targeted intermittently by Islamist militants and rebel fighters.

SANA said the rockets fired by "terrorist groups" killed six people and wounded seven in neighbourhoods of Aleppo, using its terminology for Islamist militants and rebels.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, said the rockets were fired by Islamist militants groups, notably HTS.

It said 20 rockets were fired into several neighbourhoods of Aleppo, but put the toll at three dead civilians, including a child, and five members of the security services.

A photographer with AFP saw pools of blood and body parts on the ground as well as a car with shrapnel holes.

In front of an Aleppo morgue, a man was seen trying to calm down a child who was crying out for his lost mother, before he also broke down in tears.

Opposition fighters and Islamist militants overran large parts of Syria in the first years of war that broke out in 2011.

But since Russia intervened on Assad's side in 2015 the regime has notched up a series of victories against them.

It has recaptured all rebel areas but Idlib province and parts of the neighbouring provinces of Hama, Aleppo and Latakia.

Since September, these areas have been subject of a Russian-Turkish agreement providing for the creation of a "demilitarised zone" allowing them to avoid a vast government offensive.

Despite the initiative whose terms have not been respected, the regime has resumed its deadly bombings in Idlib, while Islamist militants have launched attacks against government-held positions.

The eight-year conflict has claimed more than 370,000 lives and displaced millions of people.

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