Russian strike kills 48 from single Syrian family: activists

DAMASCUS: A suspected Russian air strike on a home in the countryside near the central city of Homs has killed 48 people from a single family, Syrian activists said. The bomb shelter where the family was hiding was hit by a rocket in the western city of Homs, activists told Al Jazeera on Sunday.Moscow has been launching air strikes in the area in addition to various other regions of the country.

In a statement on Saturday, the Russian military said its air force made 36 sorties, hitting 49 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group targets in Syria in the last 24 hours,The targets were hit in Hama, Idlib, Latakia, Damascus and Aleppo regions, the statement said.In another development on Saturday, Syrian government forces edged forward in the northern province of Aleppo with air cover from Russian warplanes, but faced fierce resistance from rebel forces in the country’s centre.

Since Moscow began its air campaign in support of its Damascus ally on September 30, the army and its allies have launched four ground offensives against rebel forces in northern and central Syria.The assaults were part of the latest push forward in the conflict that has killed more than 250,000 people, according to rights groups.Syrian troops have gone on the attack in Aleppo, Hama, Homs and Latakia provinces, taking advantage of Russian air strikes against al-Nusra Front, an al-Qaeda affiliate, and other rebel groups.Control of Aleppo city – Syria’s pre-war economic hub – has been divided since mid-2012, with government forces controlling the western part of the city while much of the surrounding province is held by rebel groups, ranging from Nusra and others in the west to the ISIL in the east.


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