by Staff Writers
Beirut (AFP) June 16, 2015
At least 16 people, among them 13 children, were killed in Syrian government air strikes on a town in southern Daraa province on Tuesday, a monitor said.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the strikes hit a centre for study of the Koran in the town of Eastern Ghariyah.
The Britain-based monitor accused Syria's government of a "massacre," saying a woman was also among those killed in the strikes.
The group said the toll in the strikes, which hit on Tuesday afternoon, was expected to rise further because a number of those injured were in serious condition.
Eastern Ghariyah lies near the eastern edge of Daraa province, not far from the 52nd Brigade base that a rebel alliance seized from the regime a week ago.
The Southern Front alliance seized the base in a surprise attack, before pushing across the provincial border into Sweida and briefly overrunning the Al-Thalaa air base.
Regime forces expelled the rebels from Al-Thalaa on Friday, but fighting has continued in the area.
More than 230,000 people have been killed in Syria's conflict, which began with anti-government demonstrations in March 2011 and descended into a civil war after a regime crackdown.
Rights groups have regularly criticised Syria's government for indiscriminate fire on civilian areas.
Rebel forces have also been accused of targeting civilian areas in parts of the country.
Nearly 11,500 children have been killed in the conflict, according to the Observatory.
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