by Staff Writers
Beirut (AFP) Dec 30, 2015
Three months of Russian air strikes in Syria have killed more than 2,300 people, a third of them civilians, a monitoring group said on Wednesday.
Russia began conducting its air war in Syria on September 30 in support of embattled ally President Bashar al-Assad.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Moscow's strikes on Syria have killed 2,371 people so far. The toll includes 792 civilians, among them 180 children.
The raids killed 655 fighters from the Islamic State jihadist group, which Russia says it is targeting along with "other terrorist groups".
Another 924 opposition fighters -- ranging from US-backed rebels to members of Al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate and IS rival Al-Nusra Front -- were also killed in the Russian strikes.
The Britain-based Observatory has an extensive network of sources inside Syria. Russia, a US-led coalition and the Syrian air force are all carrying out air raids in the country, but the Observatory differentiates between strikes based on the type of aircraft flown and the munitions used.
Russia has come under growing criticism from rebels, human rights groups, and the West for inflicting civilian casualties.
Amnesty International last week said Russian raids had killed hundreds of civilians, many in targeted strikes that could constitute war crimes.
US State Department spokesman Mark Toner echoed the accusations on Tuesday, saying Russian strikes have "killed hundreds of civilians, including first responders, (and) hit medical facilities, schools and markets."
More than 250,000 people have been killed since Syria's conflict erupted in March 2011 with anti-government protests.
Russia slams 'absurd' claims over civilian deaths in Syria
Russia has come under growing criticism from the West as well as human rights groups and Syrian rebels for inflicting civilian casualties in its two-month bombing campaign in the war-torn country.
The US State Department said Tuesday that the Russian strikes had killed hundreds of civilians" and hit "medical facilities, schools and markets".
"All of these anonymous and unsubstantiated statements about the alleged use of Russian aircraft on civilian targets in Syria is increasingly reminiscent of hypnotists' acts in travelling circuses," Russia's defence ministry said in a statement, calling the claims "absurd".
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Wednesday that Moscow's strikes had killed 2,371 people since they were launched September 30.
It said the toll includes 792 civilians, among them 180 children.
Russia's defence ministry said it deplored the "absolute silence" about the strikes by the United States, which is leading a coalition conducting its own bombing campaign against Islamic State jihadists.
It said the US raids had caused "mass casualties".
Amnesty International last week issued a damning report claiming that the Russian raids had killed hundreds of civilians, many in targeted strikes that could constitute war crimes.
Russia's defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov had dismissed the report, saying it was made up of "cliches and fakes".
In the past two days, Russia's air force conducted 121 combat sorties and struck 424 targets in many parts of Syria.
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|