Syria Airstrike

Syria Airstrike Killed At Least 28 People On Refugee Camp Inside Rebel Territory

A Syria airstrike has killed at least 28 people on a refugee camp inside the rebel-held northern region of the country. Images on social media showed tents destroyed at the Kamouna camp near Sarmada in Idlib province, close to the Turkish border.

Some reports say the attack was by Syrian or Russian warplanes but this has not been confirmed, CNN reports. The strike comes a day after the extension of a truce was confirmed.

The Syrian military and non-jihadist rebel forces had agreed to a temporary truce around the city of Aleppo, following pressure from the US and Russia.

The Syria airstrike comes after a nationwide cessation of hostilities has been in place since February, but it has come under severe pressure recently, particularly around Aleppo, where some 300 people have died in clashes over the past two weeks.

The UN has warned that if the nationwide cessation fails, it will be “catastrophic” and could send 400,000 more people heading for refuge at the border with Turkey.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based monitoring group, reported that 28 people had been killed, including women and children, and that 50 more were wounded. The Local Co-ordination Committees, an opposition activist network, said about 30 people had been killed and dozens wounded, ABC News reported.

The White House condemned the attack. Spokesman Josh Earnest said: “These individuals are in the most desperate situation imaginable, and there is no justification for carrying out military action targeting them.”

UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said the attack was “horrifying,” adding: “The [Bashar al-] Assad regime’s contempt for efforts to restore the cessation of hostilities in Syria is clear for all to see.”

The fighting in Aleppo early this week has been the most intense there for more than a year. The Observatory said rebels had advanced into government-held western districts on Tuesday night but were pushed back by Wednesday morning.

Rebels began observing a ceasefire there on Wednesday and the Syrian military announced a 48-hour truce in the city from Thursday morning. Some rocket attacks were reported on government-held areas on Thursday, but the intense air force strikes of recent days were absent.

The nationwide partial truce agreement does not include so-called Islamic State or the al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front.

The Guardian said that the Syria airstrike and fighting involving government forces and jihadist groups continued on Thursday, with clashes reported near Khan Touman, south of Aleppo. IS militants captured the Shaer gas field in the east of the country, killing 30 troops, monitors said, while Russian jets were reported to have struck militants in Sukhna, north-west of Palmyra in central Syria.

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