Russian air strikes on Syrian school, at least 8 students and a teacher dead

Beirut: Minimum eight children along with their teacher have been killed in a Russian air offensive that today assaulted a school in Syria’s Aleppo province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Monday.

According to The Syrian Observatory another strike in the town of Anjara injured minimum 20 persons, all of them being children and teachers. The organisation announced that since Sunday there have been heavy air offensive and battles between governmental and rebel forces in the Northern Province, held by a combo of moderate and Islamist rebels.

After fighting started in mid-2012, the control of the city has been bifurcated into government forces in the west and rebel forces in the east. Government troops routinely carry out air strikes on the rebel forces and rebels fire rockets into the government held areas of west. These circumstances are mostly reversed in the countryside encircling the city with rebels controlling considerable portion of the west of Aleppo and government the east.

Russia, a steadfast associate of President Bashar al-Assad’s administration, started air offensive in support of the government from September. However, many nations have disputed that Russian strikes in Syria are planned at keeping its ally Assad in power. Russia heightened its air offensive against Islamic state bastions in Syria after the Sunni militant group asserted responsibility in November for striking Russia’s Metrojet Flight 9268 over Egypt, which killed all 224 people on board.

Russia says it is attacking the ISIS and other “terrorists,” however according to the observatory, a third of those killed in its strikes have been civilians. The monitor broadcasted in late December that Russian air offensive killed more than 2,300 people since they began on September 30, amongst them 792 civilians. Russia has criticized as “absurd” accusations that its air offensives have killed civilians.

Amnesty International publicized a report attributing that Russian air offensives have massacred at least 200 non-combatant civilians in the two months upto the end of November. Mikhail Bogdanov the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister disregarded the Amnesty report that described Russian military offensives in Syria as “war crimes.” Bogdanov broadcasted that the Amnesty report contains “fake information” and “trite clichés.”

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