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23 civilians killed near Damascus, mainly from Russian air strike

23 civilians killed near Damascus, mainly from Russian air strike

Jets also pounded Harasta, on the western edge of the enclave, where rebels this week besieged and overran a major military base which residents say the army uses to pound residential areas.

A government forces base, which is believed to hold some 250 soldiers, the only one in the region, was surrounded by rebels earlier this week.

The government has also escalated airstrikes and artillery attacks on the besieged suburbs outside the capital.

Airstrikes have continued to hit the rebel-held city of Harasta, with the United Nations warning that as many as 400,00 civilians in the area face "complete catastrophe" because aid deliveries have been blocked by the government and people needing urgent medical treatment have not been allowed outside the enclave. More than 40 people were also injured.

According to the Syrian Network for Human Rights, 10,204 civilians were killed in 2017, including 2,298 children and 1,536 women.

Earlier, Kommersant reported that at least seven Russian planes were destroyed by the shelling at the Hemeimeem on December 31, citing two sources.




Two Russian servicemen were killed in an attack at Syria's Hmeimim air base, the country's defence ministry said on Thursday, bringing the total number of officially reported losses to 44.

Syrian government and Russian warplanes suspected to have been behind deadly attacks targeting Damascus neighbourhood.

Rescue workers said there had been a spike in civilian casualties there in the last twenty days from stepped-up aerial strikes on residential areas, documenting 50 dead at least in that period.

Idlib is the last remaining province in Syria under complete rebel control. "Two military servicemen were killed in the shelling".

The shells, which were launched from an area controlled by loyalists of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, hit a rural area of the border district of Yayladagi in Turkey's southeastern province of Hatay, Reuters said.

Tuesday's incident comes nearly a week after Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan described Assad as a terrorist, saying he should not play any part in Syria's future.


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