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Russia killed 24 displaced people, including 16 children, mid March: Syrian Network

(Zaman Al Wasl)- The Syrian Network for Human Rights accused Russia of killing 24 displaced people, including 16 children, from Aleppo when its warplanes struck a sheltering area in Idlib city on March 15.

 The Britain-based monitoring group said eye-witnesses and footage proved the Russia hit their shelter in rebel-held city of Idlib, leaving 24 people, including 16 children and 6 women, dead.

Idlib is one of the most important strongholds of rebels, including jihadist factions, who seek to overthrow Bashar al-Assad, whose air force, along with that of his ally Russia, has been heavily bombarding insurgents there.

 The population of Idlib has been swelled by refugees including many of those who have left rebel-held enclaves elsewhere in the country after the army and its allies forced them to surrender.

A fellow monitoring group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said Tuesday regime warplanes dropped barrel bombs on rebel-held areas of Hama province Tuesday, a day after the United States said their use could lead to further U.S. strikes in Syria.

A military source denied the Observatory report and said the army did not use barrel bombs - drums or cylinders packed with explosives and shrapnel that cause indiscriminate destruction on the ground.

The United States fired cruise missiles at a Syrian air base last week in response to a poison gas attack on a town in northwestern Syria which Washington says was carried out by government forces. The government denies responsibility.

The Observatory said "a number" of barrel bombs had been dropped on the towns of Taybat al-Imam and Soran north of Hama city in an area where rebel groups spearheaded by extremist factions launched a major offensive last month.

 White House spokesman Sean Spicer Monday mentioned barrel bombs alongside poison gas as weapons that were causing "babies and children" to suffer. "If you gas a baby, if you put a barrel bomb in to innocent people ... you will see a response from this president," he said.

The Syrian military source said: "We do not use these barrels and they do not exist in the Syrian Arab Army."

Army operations were continuing across Syria, and "will not stop", the sources said.

The peaceful demonstrations that ended up with deadly war carried out by the Syrian regime and key regional players has killed at least 465,000 people, including 150,000 children and has displaced over 12 million people.

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