Over 1,000 civilians dead in Russia's Syria strikes: monitor

 20 Jan 2016 - 15:29

Over 1,000 civilians dead in Russia's Syria strikes: monitor
Russian warplanes have been conducting air strikes against Islamic State jihadists and other groups in Syria since September 30, 2015. AFP

 

Beirut: Russian air strikes have killed more than 1,000 civilians in Syria since they began nearly four months ago, a monitor said Wednesday.

The raids, which started on September 30, have killed 1,015 civilians, including more than 200 children, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The group, which relies on a network of sources on the ground for its reports, said the strikes had also killed 893 Islamic State group fighters, and 1,141 other opposition militants, including members of Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front.

The total toll of 3,049 represents an increase of nearly 700 deaths in just three weeks.

Russia is a staunch ally of the Syrian government and has coordinated its strikes with Damascus, saying it is targeting IS and other "terrorist" groups.

But activists and rebels accuse Moscow of focusing more on moderate and Islamist opposition fighters than IS.

Russia has previously denounced accusations that its raids have killed civilians as "absurd" and said claims by rights groups of such deaths were made up of "cliches and fakes".

The Observatory says it differentiates between strikes by Russia, US-led coalition warplanes and the Syrian regime based on the type of aircraft and the munitions used.

AFP